Elder Norman Fleury to receive honorary doctorate from BU for preservation of Michif language, culture

A man in a vest, decorated with beaded flowers, poses in front of a wooden cart
Elder Norman Fleury

A key figure in the preservation and the revitalization of the Michif language in Canada will be presented with an honorary degree during a Brandon University (BU) Convocation ceremony this week.

Elder Norman Fleury will receive a Doctor of Literature during the Faculty of Arts Convocation ceremony, which starts at 2 p.m., on Friday at BU’s Healthy Living Centre.

Born in St. Lazare, Man., Elder Fleury is a sixth-generation Michif, known nationally for his efforts to preserve the Michif language, stories, history and culture. He has also been active in Métis governance building for 57 years.

“Elder Fleury is a tremendous booster of knowledge in the prairies, whose influence spreads well beyond our region due to his decades of commitment to Michif culture, language and governance,” said Dr. David Docherty, President and Vice-Chancellor of BU. “Some Michif ideals are very closely aligned with our own goals at BU, as reflected in Mamaawii-atooshke aakihkiwiin, the Métis-gifted name for our Strategic Plan, which means ‘working together and growing.’ Elder Fleury has certainly shown his commitment to collaborative efforts to build shared knowledge that benefits us all. He has been a great friend to BU, and it will be wonderful to welcome him to Convocation this week.”

Elder Fleury introduced the first-ever accredited Michif language course in Canada at BU and has also worked with Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Urban Native Teachers Educational Program, Louis Riel Institute, Rupertsland Institute and various community organizations. He continues to work with Métis Nation–Saskatchewan, community schools, and University of Saskatchewan where he is a special lecturer in the College of Education. His experiences, knowledge, and ability to share cultural components of Michif language have helped develop curriculum, translate written educational materials, and orally share the rich history of the Métis. 

“Elder Fleury has certainly shown his commitment to collaborative efforts to build shared knowledge that benefits us all.”

Dr. David Docherty, BU President and Vice-Chancellor

Brandon University bestows individuals with an honorary degree based on significant service to the university community or society; excellence in professional life or public service; or advancement of knowledge through research or teaching. Each year nominations are received from within the BU community as well as from other supporters of the University.

Around 460 students will receive their degrees at this year’s two-day event, with ceremonies for graduates in Science and Music (Thursday, 10 a.m.), Education (Thursday, 2 p.m.), Health Studies (Friday, 10 a.m.) and Arts (Friday, 2 p.m.).


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