Minnie Grey was awarded an honorary doctorate this August from the Université de Montréal.
Grey retired in July after nine years as Executive Director of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, but has had a long career focused on health, education, and the future of youth.
Originally from Kangirsuk, she was director of the Ungava Hospital from 1991 to 2000, then main negotiator in the tripartite discussions for the creation of a government in Nunavik. Grey has worked tirelessly to help Nunavik youth, both in terms of education and health and mental wellness.
Grey delivered her five-minute acceptance speech entirely in Inuktitut and gave some advice to the graduates. “For those of you graduating today, if the path you choose takes you to our communities, whether through research or intervention, I want to tell you this: don’t turn into a saviour,” she said. “Become our partners instead. Be open-minded. Come work, not for, but with the Inuit people, in partnership. Your quest for knowledge has just begun.”
The university traditionally honours people from the health and social services sector, education, and the area of management and sustainable development by awarding them an honorary doctorate during convocation.
Referring to Grey and the four other recipients in a French news release, the university’s rector Daniel Jutras said, “These women and men, through their commitment, their research, and their teachings, make our society a better world. Through their influence, these personalities become excellent ambassadors for our university and are sources of inspiration for our entire community.”