Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) President Edith Cloutier has been appointed Member of the Order of Canada for her work and actions improving the living conditions of urban Aboriginals. RCAAQ said they were proud of her achievements centred mainly on the Native Friendship Centre Movement.

Cloutier said, “This is an opportunity to show a collective voice for Aboriginal peoples. In particular it highlights the Native Friendship Centres (NFC) and what we do for our people across Canada. No one is really aware of the work the NFC has done to make our people’s lives better. I am proud to have this opportunity and be honoured in this way.”

Added RCAAQ Vice‐President Christine Jean: “Edith is an inspiring and visionary woman. She is also a very humble person who has always advocated the rights and interests of urban Aboriginal citizens. This recognition of her life path is a great pride for us. I think of all the positive impacts such an appointment will have on Aboriginal women and youth. Edith is living proof that with perseverance, one can advance a cause; her work motivates us to do even better.”

The Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest civilian honours. It was created in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Cloutier has been president of the RCAAQ for several years and executive director of the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre since the age of 23. She has received numerous other awards, including a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service in 2010 and being named a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec in 2006.