Order of Canada - Judith Sayers

Two women with strong Island bonds named to Order of Canada

An Indigenous leader from Vancouver Island and a world-class athlete with deep Victoria ties have been named to the Order of Canada.

Judith Sayers of Port Alberni has championed sustainable-energy initiatives in Indigenous communities. She was chief of the Hupacasath First Nation for more than 10 years, and led a “run-of-river” energy project that boosted economic growth. Run-of-river projects use natural flow and elevation drop in water courses to generate electricity.

Sayers is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.

Whitehorse resident Stephanie Dixon, a former University of Victoria swimming star, will receive the honour for a stellar athletic career and her efforts to promote inclusivity in sports. Born without a right leg and hip, she won medals at the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Dixon was inducted into Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame in 2016. She is now a broadcaster and public speaker.

Both women are being named members of the Order of Canada on Friday at Rideau Hall in a ceremony led by Gov. Gen. Julie Payette. A total of 28 members and seven officers of the Order of Canada will be designated.