UNBC Professor and Northern Health Vice-President of Indigenous Health, Dr. Margo Greenwood,  has been recognized with one of the highest honours in Canada.

Governor General Mary Simon announced Greenwood as an Officer of the Order of Canada on December 29th for her over 30 years of work to transform the health and well-being of Indigenous children, families, and communities.

“I’m accepting this award for my three sons who can see their contributions to our family realized, and for my granddaughter to see the full potential of women. I thank my Elders, teachers and colleagues who’ve advised and supported me in this journey,” said Greenwood.

Dr.Greenwood is the Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health at UNBC and a professor in First Nations Studies and other educational programs.

“I’ve been working in early childhood education since the start of my career. It’s a calling that makes my heart sing.”

Her resume is a lengthy one, having also served as an Advisory Board Chair for the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health from 2006-2013, and is currently a member of the Institute of Population and Public Health Advisory Board.

Dr. Greenwood says her work is driven by the question, “how do we create systemic change in a world of injustice?” Her experience with Northern Health has further allowed her to lead such change.

Cathy Ulrich, President and CEO, Northern Health says, “Northern Health is very honoured and proud to have had Margo in our midst over the last eight years, and to have the opportunity to learn and improve as a direct result of her nationally- and internationally-recognized leadership and expertise. On behalf of Northern Health’s Board of Directors, and the many people for whom she has been a valued mentor, we congratulate Margo on this well-deserved recognition.”

Greenwood was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, and was orphaned at 16. She credits calling on the power of vision to open doors and overcome challenges in her journey.

“As a child spending time outside on the land, I learned how to dream. And dreaming is hope.”

“The National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health started as a dream at UNBC,” notes Dr. Greenwood. “There were no road maps; we had to create something new. I drew on Elders, colleagues and friends from across the country to help this national centre unfold, evolve and thrive.”

Dr. Greenwood also completed her PhD in 2008, authored over 135 publications focusing on Indigenous peoples’ health and well-being, and received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award in 2002 and a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2011.