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REF NO.: 238

SUBJECT: Noted aboriginal leader to receive honorary degree at Memorial University convocation in Corner Brook on Friday, May 7
DATE: May 5, 2004

Memorial University will confer an honorary doctor of laws degree on Chief Misel Joe, traditional saqamaw and the Newfoundland district chief for the Mi'kmaq Grand Council, at the 2004 spring convocation session in Corner Brook.

Convocation proceedings are scheduled to commence at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 7, in the gymnasium located in the Arts and Science Building, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. Approximately 160 degrees will be awarded to students in fine arts, arts programs, nursing, social work and science.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College's spring convocation will be broadcast live on the Web. More details about this Internet broadcast are available at www.swgc.mun.ca.

Chief Misel Joe comes from a long line of saqamaws or chiefs in the Mi'kmaq territory. Chief Joe was educated in Mi'kmaq traditions and, after having left the reserve as a young man, returned in 1973 and became involved in band government politics, first as a councillor and, after the death of his uncle, Chief William Joe, became traditional saqamaw and the Newfoundland district chief for the Mi'kmaq Grand Council.

Chief Joe is also the spiritual leader of his people and has presented lectures on native medicines and traditional healing practices at several international alternative medicine conferences and hosted the1996 and 2000 International Healing Conference at Conne River.

He is a member of the Atlantic Policy Congress, the First Nations Trust Fund, Newfoundland Museum Advisory Committee and the Aboriginal Capacity and Development Research Centre. He also holds a community seat at the United Nations (Human Rights).

In conjunction with Convocation 2004, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery will host an opening reception for Déive, the annual Visual Arts Program fourth-year students' exhibition. The reception will take place on convocation day from 2-4 p.m. in the atrium of the Fine Arts Building. All are welcome to join the celebration of the accomplishments of Grenfell students and BFA degree recipients.

As well, Western Regional School of Nursing will hold an awards ceremony at Monaghan Hall on Convocation Day to recognize its academic achievers.

Editors please note: Media agencies are invited to attend the convocation. Please contact Pam Gill, communications co-ordinator, Grenfell College, 709-637-6200.

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