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Looking for Labradorians of distinction

Nominations are now being sought by the federal government for the new Labradorians of Distinctions award.

Labrador MP Yvonne Jones

Member of Parliament for Labrador Yvonne Jones said the award, which will now be given out annually, celebrates Labradorians who have made an ‘outstanding contribution to the social, environmental, economic, or cultural betterment of Labrador’.

“In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, and Labrador’s 68th year of confederation, we will launch the awards– according to their peers,” she told TC. “Because it’s Canada’s 150th birthday, we want to celebrate 150 Labradorians.”

Labradorians living or dead can be nominated for an award, with a plaque memorializing names of the Labradorians who have passed on and a Labradorian of Distinction medal to honour living Labradorians. While 150 are being given out in the first round, going forward Jones said there would be 10-15 awarded each year.

“Labradorians from all walks of life in all of our communities have been volunteering, leading, and giving so much of themselves,” she told TC Media. “It’s part of who we are, it part of our culture. We are also very humble people and praise is something not often sought nor given for doing great work. I feel that we need to celebrate those who have done so much for others, for our communities, and for Labrador as a whole. From artists, to language revival, to environmental stewardship the list goes on, Labrador would not be where it is today without the efforts of so many and I think we should celebrate them.”

Jones said the nomination rules are fairly broad, with anyone except a sitting MHA or MP or someone who is sitting on the selection committee being available to be chosen. Groups of people and organisations cannot be nominated, Jones said, so they can focus on the leaders and the people that have made those organisations what they are today.

There are currently spots open on the selection committee, an independent committee that will accept and review nominations, and establish the criteria for selections going forward. Region, demographic and gender will be considered to make for a balanced committee.

An awards ceremony will be held this fall celebrating the first 150 recipients during Canada's 150th birthday celebrations. 

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