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Saskatchewan Order of Merit

Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit is a prestigious recognition of excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of the province and its residents. The Order recognizes individuals who have made their mark in such areas as the arts, agriculture, business and industry, community leadership, the occupations or professions, public service, research, and volunteer service. It takes precedence over all other provincial honours and awards.

Nominate Now


1. Saskatchewan Order of Merit

History and National Status

Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit is a prestigious recognition of excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well being of the province and its residents. The Order recognizes individuals who have made their mark in such areas as the arts, agriculture, business and industry, community leadership, the occupations or progressions, public service, research, and volunteer service. It takes precedence over all other provincial honours and awards.

In 1991 the Government of Canada granted recognition to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and a place in the national sequence of orders, decorations and medals; immediately after national orders and before national decorations. By seniority of its establishment, it ranks after l'Ordre national du Québec and before the Order of Ontario, Order of British Columbia, Alberta Order of Excellence, Order of Prince Edward Island, Order of Manitoba, Order of New Brunswick, Order of Nova Scotia, and Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.

This means that recipients of Saskatchewan's Order of Merit are entitled to wear it on national occasions and recipients of Canada's national honours who also receive Saskatchewan honours may wear both in the sequence approved by the Governor General.

Saskatchewan Order of MeritInsignia

The insignia worn by members of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit includes

  • a silver and enamel medal representing a stylized western red lily bearing the Crown and Saskatchewan shield of arms,
  • the provincial motto, Multis e gentibus vires (From many peoples strength), and 
  • a gold and green ribbon, representing the provincial colours.

They also receive a lapel pin representing a stylized lily and bearing the Crown. Each member of the Order receives an official certificate in the form of Letters Patent, sealed with the Great Seal of the Province of Saskatchewan.

These are presented by the Lieutenant Governor at a formal investiture. Members of the Order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters S.O.M.

The Athabasca Gallery on the main floor of the Legislative Building contains the photographic portraits of the members of the Order and the citations read at their investiture.


2. Nomination Criteria and Process

Nomination criteria

Any Canadian citizen who is a current or former long-term resident of Saskatchewan is eligible for nomination for the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

  • Nominations cannot be accepted for elected members of Parliament or the Legislature or members of the judiciary who are still holding office.
  • Organizations are not eligible, only individuals.
  • Posthumous nominations are accepted within one year of the date of death.

While nominations are accepted for volunteer or community service, this is only one field of endeavour among many recognized by the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. If your nominee's activities are primarily in the area of community service as a volunteer, we recommend that you consider nominating them for the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.

Any individual or group can submit nominations. The Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council recommends recipients based entirely on the information submitted with the nomination.

Completing the Nomination Form

Only one nomination form is required per nominee.

Please include:

  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number, as well as the nominee's.
  • Summary statement - briefly explaining the reasons you are nominating this person.

Support letters

Please provide three to six letters from others in support of the nomination, explaining why your nominee is worthy of this honour. Do not exceed six letters. They must be on 8-1/2 x 11" paper, typed or clearly hand-written in dark ink.

Additional Information

You may provide material in support of your nomination. Please see below for acceptable and non-acceptable information.

  • An expanded statement of your reasons for the nomination
  • A biography of the nominee, and/or a list of his or her achievements.

Please ensure that this material is succinct and directly relevant to the nomination. All support materials must be on 8½ x 11" paper, typed, reproduced or clearly hand-written in dark ink.

  • Cassettes
  • Videotapes
  • compact discs
  • photographs
  • albums or newspaper clippings (unless photocopied onto 8-1/2 x 11" paper) as they will be discarded.

Submitting a Nomination

Nominations are accepted year-round; the deadline is December 12. Nominations received after this date will be held over for consideration the following year. The person submitting the nomination must sign nomination forms.

All information provided to us is confidential and exclusively for the use of the Honours Advisory Council. We ask that you not inform the nominee of his or her nomination.

Submit signed nomination form and materials by:

  • Email
  • Mail
  • Courier; or
  • In-person

Saskatchewan Honours and Awards Program
Protocol Office
300 - 3085 Albert Street

Contact Us
Phone: 306-787-8965
Toll free: 1-877-427-5505
Fax: 306-787-1269

Acknowledgement of Nomination

You will receive an acknowledgement for your nomination in 14 days.



3. Newest Recipients

Saskatchewan Order of Merit 2022 Recipients

Wayne Brownlee

Wayne Brownlee

Wayne’s contribution to Saskatchewan's well-being began early in his career and continues with his commitment to community and philanthropic efforts. He was instrumental in both the growth of PotashCorp through several acquisitions and the defense against the PotashCorp hostile takeover attempt, owing to his relationships with investors and all levels of government. No one was more committed than Wayne to keeping PotashCorp a Saskatchewan company. He continued this passionate belief when Potash Corp and Agrium merged in 2018 to become Nutrien, the world's largest provider of crop inputs, with its head office located in Saskatoon.

In his community endeavours he has shown a thoughtfulness not often seen in corporate executives. Through his involvement with Wanuskewin Heritage Park's Thundering Ahead campaign and Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation's Early Learning Equal Start campaign, Wayne unapologetically believes it is a moral obligation to acknowledge the challenges faced by Indigenous people and other marginalized members of society. He is committed to learning and working together to give everyone a chance to succeed. Wayne has not only committed historical philanthropic gifts to these organizations but more importantly commits his time and energy. These are only two organizations Wayne has impacted in a significant way. Other organizations include, but are not limited to, The Friendship Inn, Salvation Army, Saskatoon Food Bank, Edwards School of Business, Saskatoon Community Foundation, Canadian War Museum and Biggar Revitalization Project. Wayne is a recipient of the USask Lifetime Achievement Award.

Carol GoldenEagle

Carol GoldenEagle

Carol GoldenEagle is a writer, storyteller, singer, drummer and visual artist. Before pursuing writing, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years at Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), CBC and CTV, receiving numerous accolades. She received several awards including Best Anchor by the Manitoba Film and Television Industry, and Best Documentary and Live Reporting from the Native Media Awards. In 2007, Carol was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her excellence in radio and television reporting.

In 2008, she chose to focus full-time on her writing. Her novel, Bearskin Diary, won a National Literary Award in 2017, and the French translation, Peau D’ours, also won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019. Another novel, The Narrows of Fear, won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2021. Several other titles, including Bone Black and two books of poetry, Hiraeth and Essential Ingredients, have been shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Awards.

Carol has performed years of community work. Currently she sits on the Board of Directors for the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, based in Regina Beach. She does similar work with the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange Society, an arts organization based in Regina. Her work includes providing artistic opportunities, particularly for the northern region of Saskatchewan.

Carol focuses on developing mentorship programs for Indigenous youth interested in a literary career. She also selflessly mentors emerging Indigenous adult writers, through programs coordinated by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. In 2021, Carol was named as Saskatchewan’s ninth Poet Laureate.

Trevor Herriot

Trevor Herriot

One of Saskatchewan’s most distinctive and distinguished literary voices, Trevor Herriot, has been referred to as “the pre-eminent prairie naturalist of his generation.” He has reached thousands of listeners and shared his love for the natural world through his CBC radio show “Bird Line.” Trevor is a champion for strong protection of last remaining tracts of native prairie habitats in Western Canada that provide home to numerous species at risk. He is a founding co-chair of the Prairie Advocacy Group, Public Pastures-Public Interest and has become known as one of the strongest voices for conservation in the West.

His outstanding writing skills have earned him many provincial and national awards and honours. His books have twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction and he has received the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, the Writers Trust of Canada, Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, a Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award, and six Saskatchewan Book Awards. His essays and articles have appeared in Canadian Geographic, Brick, Border Crossings, The Globe and Mail, and The Narwhal. He has been featured in several documentaries, including “Grasslands: A Hidden Wilderness,” on CBC’s The Nature of Things.

In addition to his writing activities, Trevor has served as Writer-in-Residence at the Roderick Haig-Brown House on Vancouver Island and at the Regina Public Library. He has spoken across Canada delivering more than 85 lectures, keynote addresses and talks on various cultural and environmental topics.

John Hopkins (posthumous)

Having overcome a battle with addiction early in life, John Hopkins went on to complete university and become a champion of business, mental health and reconciliation in Regina.

John started as a summer student at Regina Downtown Business Improvement District in 1995. He rose through the ranks and became the Chief Executive Officer of Regina & District Chamber of Commerce. In this role, John worked with governments of all political stripes and provided reasoned and compassionate advocacy for the issues of the day. He participated on numerous boards and committees such as the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, Saskatchewan Assessment Management Association Commercial Advisory Committee, and the City of Regina Transit Advisory Board. John was a founding member of the Regina Trades and Skills Centre and spent many years as its Chair. He was also a past president of the Canadian Chamber Executives of Canada.

John was a strong and genuine advocate for Indigenous economic reconciliation. He was an organizer for the Smudge Walk and sat on the boards of Cowessess Ventures, Little Child Holdings and Reconciliation Regina.

One of John’s passions was his role as singer and guitarist with The Garage Band. The band's primary focus has been fundraising, raising $1.4 million for the Allan Blair Cancer Centre as well as more than $100,000 for mental health initiatives.

Shirley Isbister, S.V.M.

Shirley Ibister

As a leader and advocate for Métis and First Nation people in Saskatoon, Shirley Isbister has worked tirelessly to provide food, shelter and security to those in need for over two decades.

As president of the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI), Shirley has had an immeasurable impact on her community. Under her leadership, CUMFI has launched various housing initiatives which focused on providing a welcoming family environment to children in crisis, and safe and affordable housing to families and elders. She has also helped to secure funding for the Saskatoon Health Bus, a non-judgmental mobile treatment clinic in Saskatoon's core neighbourhoods that serves an average of 6,500 patients per year. When Shirley started, CUMFI’s annual budget was $100,000. Now it has an annual operating budget of almost $10 million and employs 190 individuals. Shirley ensures that no one who comes to CUMFI for help is turned away.

Shirley is also an advocate for the community she represents in other ways. She is a committed member of the Saskatoon Police Service Indigenous Women's Advisory Circle, which works to improve policies and actions concerning police-related issues that touch the lives of Indigenous women. Shirley was selected to be a member of this committee due to her trusted voice as a community leader within Saskatoon. Under Shirley’s leadership during the pandemic, more than 90,000 lunches were served and 4,500 hampers delivered to people in need.

Harry Lafond

Harry Lafond

Harry Lafond is an Indigenous leader who has used diplomacy, consensus-building and friendship to work towards reconciliation. Harry has spent his life creating pathways for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to build trust, see strength in each other and transform relationships.

Harry served as Chief of the Muskeg Lake First Nation for 10 years. During that time, he was instrumental in negotiating and establishing an urban reserve in Saskatoon – the first ever in Canada. He also developed a custom election code, strengthening his community’s Indigenous laws and practices. Harry also served as councillor on the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation Council for 15 years. He held the position of executive director in the Office of The Treaty Commissioner serving with Treaty Commissioners Bill McKnight and George Lafond and used the opportunity to advance reconciliation through his teachings.

Academics are important to Harry, having taught primary school, high school and post-secondary courses. He successfully lobbied for a new school for the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. He has held the position of Indigenous Education Scholar at St. Thomas More College (University of Saskatchewan). As both a Cree leader and a Catholic deacon, Harry is serving on the Saskatoon Roman Catholic Diocese’s Council on Truth and Reconciliation and is an adviser to the Bishop of the Prince Albert Roman Catholic Diocese.

Dr. Alan Rosenberg

Dr. Alan Rosenberg

Dr. Alan Rosenberg is a world-renowned pediatric rheumatology clinician, an innovative researcher and an inspiring award-winning professor. Since 1981, he has been the director of the University of Saskatchewan's Pediatric Rheumatic Disease Research Laboratory and has led the pediatric rheumatology clinical program in the province. During his time at the university, he also served as the head of the Department of Pediatrics. Alan’s commitment to improving specialized care for children with arthritis and related rheumatic diseases and leadership in research has shaped pediatric rheumatology care in Saskatchewan and across the country.

Dr. Rosenberg is a co-founder of the Children's Health Foundation of Saskatchewan, which paved the way for the realization of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon. His visionary work and national leadership have made Saskatoon and the Children's Hospital a leading Canadian centre of excellence in child health and research. Alan also founded the Children's Health Research Trust Fund, which supports research on child health, with the goal of facilitating the highest standards of scientific research. He was the inaugural chair of the Canadian Pediatric Rheumatology Association and contributes to activities of the Arthritis Society and Lupus Saskatchewan. Recognizing the value of collaboration, he promotes and facilitates partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, to improve child health, advance research, and inspire the next generation of care providers and scientists.

Marilyn Whitehead

Marilyn Whitehead

For over 50 years, Marilyn Whitehead has been an influential music teacher, choral director, accompanist and adjudicator in Saskatoon. Graduates of her piano and voice studio have gone on to have successful careers as opera singers, Broadway artists and actors. They are people who make a difference within their community and have leadership roles within their professional careers such as teachers, nurses, doctors, broadcasters, lawyers and accountants. Her students say that Marilyn inspires a love of music, positive competition and a strong sense of self.

In 1972, Marilyn founded one of Canada’s best-known choirs, the Saskatoon Fireside Singers. Marilyn has served as artistic director since its inception. Under her leadership, the Fireside Singers have grown from a small performance choir to staging full Broadway productions. The Fireside Singers’ annual Christmas Memories performances have evolved from small events at local churches to two sold-out evenings at one of Saskatoon’s largest venues.

Marilyn is a past president of the Saskatoon Registered Music Teachers Association and an active member of the Saskatoon Music Festival Association. She received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2002 for her contribution to the arts in Saskatoon. She also received the Saskatchewan Choral Federation Pro Musica award in 2012.

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