Ontario honours Meemee Lavell-Harvard as recipient of 2018 Victim Services Awards of Distinction

Dawn Lavell-Harvard

TORONTO–Twenty remarkable individuals and organizations from across the province received the Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction on Thursday, April 12 for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of crime in Ontario, including victims’ advocate Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard of Wiikwemkoong.

Dr. Lavell-Harvard was honoured for her dedication to addressing issues related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Dr. Lavell-Harvard is the director of First People’s House of Learning at Trent University, Peterborough-Nogojiwanong. She is the first IndigenousTrudeau Scholar and has worked to advance the rights of Indigenous women as president of the Ontario Native Women’s Association. Dr. Lavell-Harvard offers her expertise in sexual violence and Indigenous women to the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre and is an in-kind senior advisor to the Zoong’de/Strong Heart Ontario Arts Council project. She also collaborated on a Ministry of Correctional Services and Community Safety funded project to help police respond in a trauma-informed way to Indigenous women and girls who report sexual violence.

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The Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction recognize the exceptional achievements of dedicated professionals, organizations and volunteers working to raise awareness of victims’ issues, advocate on their behalf and provide support when victims need it most. The awards also encourage the sharing of best practices among victim services professionals and volunteers across the province.

In a press release, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi stated, “This year’s award recipients demonstrate courage and dedication on a daily basis by helping victims of crime rebuild their lives. I applaud and thank them for their passionate commitment to helping others, and hope that their work serves as an example to each of us.”

Ruth Campbell, chair of the Office for Victims of Crime offered congratulations to all recipients. “You are proof that Ontario’s community organizations and volunteers are the foundation for making our province a caring and supportive society,” she said.

The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Victim Services Awards of Distinction will be announced in fall 2018.