Alanis Obomsawin, C.C., G.O.Q.

By: The Hon. Michèle Audette

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Hon. Michèle Audette: [Editor’s Note: Senator Audette spoke in an Indigenous language.]

Once again, I want to thank the Anishinaabe people for welcoming me on their territory.

Colleagues, I rise today to honour a great person, a great woman, someone I love very much. She is a strong woman, a woman who fears no one and who does not mince words. She is incredible.

She stays true to herself despite having met numerous celebrities and luminaries around the world. She remains uncomplicated — an elegant, generous woman who also has an unconditional love for children, including her Kisos.

She stood up just moments ago, and you may recognize her as a great director. She is also an artist, a poet, a musician, an activist. She has dedicated her entire life to Indigenous people here in Canada, and certainly around the world, to speak out against injustice.

She has received numerous awards as a result of her 50-plus documentaries, major awards like the Glenn Gould Prize. Soon, in July, she will receive another award from our neighbours in the United States, the MacDowell Medal. She has been celebrated by several organizations, including the Order of Canada, as Grand Officer, and of course the National Order of Quebec. She holds several honorary degrees.

This evening, between two votes, I invite you to join Senators Cardozo, Francis, Greenwood, McPhedran and Klyne to celebrate a moment with our sister, Alanis Obomsawin. She will be accompanied by Suzanne Guèvremont from the National Film Board of Canada. We will present you the documentary by the Honourable Murray Sinclair.

It is with considerable emotion, dear friend, that I say to you with admiration, because you cradled me as a child, you cradled my Amun as well, and you opened the door for many Indigenous women: thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear, unique Alanis.

She is from Odanak, the Abenaki Nation.

Tshinashkumitin for raising our profile around the world. I hope you will be honoured for all that you do and will continue to do for us.

[Editor’s Note: Senator Audette spoke in an Indigenous language.]

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