Two Influential Mi’kmaw Elders Receive Honorary Degrees

Sister Veronica Matthews and Elder Freeman Douglas Knockwood  Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees this Spring

 This spring, two influential Mi’kmaw elders have been recognized for their dedication to their communities during two separate university graduation ceremonies. Sister Veronica Matthews received an honorary doctorate degree from St Francis Xavier University on Sunday May 3rd. Elder Freeman Douglas Knockwood was awarded his honorary doctorate on Monday May 11th at Acadia University.

Sister Veronica Matthews
(Adapted from the Cape Breton Post) 

 Sister Veronica Matthews of Eskasoni was presented her honorary degree during the spring convocation ceremony at StFX University. During the ceremony, she was called a trailblazer and a role model for her hard work and dedication to community health.  In her career, Sister Veronica Matthews has worked in her home community, promoting diabetes education and awareness. She has also served on numerous health boards and is a founding member and honorary lifetime member of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada. 

Freeman Douglas Knockwood

 Elder Freeman Douglas Knockwood of Sipekne’katik received his honorary degree from Acadia University on Monday May 11. During his acceptance speech he humbly told the crowd that he never thought he would receive such an honour in his lifetime. Doug was recognized for his work in co-founding and promoting the Mi’kmaw alcohol and drug treatment program. In his career, he has worked all across Canada assisting in many different treatment programs and was the Director of the Mi’kmaw Healing Lodge in Eskasoni.  He continues to be active in drug and addiction counselling programs and enjoys working with the youth to promote spiritual awareness.