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Vernon Indigenous scholar Margo Greenwood appointed as senator

Greenwood is the 63rd senator to join the upper house through the process
Margo Greenwood is the 63rd senator to join the upper house. (UNBC photo)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the appointment of a new senator, Vernon’s Margo Greenwood, who will represent British Columbia.

Greenwood is a decorated scholar of Cree ancestry who has expertise in Indigenous children’s health and education.

She comes to the Red Chamber after serving as a professor of education at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Greenwood was appointed in June to a three-year term as interim scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Indigenous health institute, which is hosted by the university.

Since 2004, she has also served as the academic leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health.

Her appointment comes on the advice of an independent advisory board that assesses applications for Senate vacancies and provides recommendations to the prime minister.

Greenwood is the 63rd senator to join the upper house through the process, which Trudeau introduced early in his tenure.

In a statement, Trudeau said that her academic expertise and dedication to the well-being of Indigenous communities would “make her a strong voice for British Columbians.”

“I am honoured to be appointed as a senator and look forward to contributing to the work of the Senate in an independent and non-partisan way. My contribution to the Senate is grounded in my commitment to the health and well-being of all people, including Indigenous children and families. I’m proud to bring all of my lived experience to this work,” said Greenwood.

Greenwood is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of many distinctions, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for her work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in early childhood; the Perry Shawana Leadership and Advocacy Award from the British Columbia Aboriginal Child Care Society; the National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now Indspire Award) for Education from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation; and the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia’s Academic of the Year Award.

Greenwood holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta, a Master of Arts degree from the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of British Columbia.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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