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Okanagan professor and Syilx expert appointed to Order of Canada

Dr. Jeanette Armstrong selected for leadership in revitalizing Syilx language

Penticton Indian Band member Dr. Jeannette Armstrong already had an impressive resume but now she can add Order of Canada to the list of accomplishments.

Armstrong is an associate professor and the Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy and is now among the 85 latest appointments to the Order of Canada.

Governor General Mary Simon announced the appointments to the Order on June 30.

“Today, we recognize individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to our society. A group of individuals who, through dedication and ajuinnata—perseverance—make our communities and our country better every day,” said Simon.

Armstrong was selected for her contributions to Canadian literature through her novels and poetry, and for her leadership in revitalizing the Syilx Okanagan Indigenous language.

An associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, Armstrong is the academic lead for the university’s Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency (BNLF) program, which saw its first Syilx Okanagan graduates this year.

As research chair, she has spent a decade working to research, document and analyze oral Syilx stories and knowledge.

In 2021, Armstrong was also elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, which is made up of over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists and scientists.

Armstrong is also a member of Penticton’s Enowkin Cultural Centre, and her literature has earned her accolades and awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 2016.

READ MORE: Okanagan woman wins prestigious literary prizes

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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