Every society confers honours and awards on individual citizens to recognize achievement and special contributions. It's an appropriate way to say thank you and to promote role models for society.
Honours provide official recognition of citizens by the people through their head of state – in Canada's case, the Queen. Honours, by international custom, entitle the recipients to wear the "insignia" (usually medals on a ribbon) around the neck in some cases, on the left side of the jacket, dress or uniform in most others. Some honours entitle the recipients to post-nominal letters (initials after their names).
Awards are a form of recognition which can be given by any organization, including governments, and may take the form of certificates, plaques, trophies, lapel pins and sometimes medals – although these should not be worn in the same place as the insignia of honours.
History of Honours and Awards in Saskatchewan
In 1985, the Province of Saskatchewan established a comprehensive program to recognize achievement, excellence, and contributions to the public good in the province. The Saskatchewan Honours and Awards Program has three areas: provincial honours, provincial awards and recognition of national honours. The Provincial Emblems and Honours Act, adopted in 1988, defines and protects the honours and their insignia; provides for the Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council; and outlines the processes of nomination, selection, appointment, and revocation for the honours and awards program in Saskatchewan.
The Lieutenant Governor, as Chancellor of the Order and in the name of the Crown, invests the members of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, presents the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, and either presents or authorizes another person to present the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal.
Every year, the Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council recommends recipients for the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Premier's Service Club Award, and the Saskatchewan Distinguished Service Award. The council also provides the government with advice on provincial honours. The Chief of Protocol acts as Secretary of the Council which has 10 members:
- a chairperson appointed by the President of the Executive Council for a term not exceeding three years.
- four "ex officio" members: the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan and the Chief Justice of Queen's Bench, alternating every two-years; the Cabinet Secretary; the President of the University of Saskatchewan or the President of the University of Regina, alternating every two-years; and the Provincial Archivist;
- not more than five members from the community appointed by the President of the Executive Council for three-year terms.
Recommendations for the Premier's Award for Excellence in Public Service and Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal are made by independent selection committees.