Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: Chief Darcy Bear
Convocation date: October 25, 2014
Citation / biographical information:

Darcy Bear is the chief of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation and chairman of the board of the Whitecap Development Corporation (WDC). Chief Bear has dedicated half of his life to the betterment of his community since becoming elected to Council in 1991 at the age of 23. He is currently in his eighth term, and seventh consecutive term as chief. He has been the impetus behind extensive economic development within the community, and the driving force for improved quality of life for Whitecap residents and the people of Saskatchewan.
Chief Bear was instrumental in developing a self-governing Land Code, which created a business-friendly environment on Whitecap Dakota lands, complete with a land tenure system, commercial infrastructure and a real-property tax law. Whitecap now serves as a national example of positive community development and heightened self-determination. To date there has been approximately $100 million in capital investment in the community and an unemployment rate reduction from 70% to 4.1%.
Chief Bear has been widely-recognized for his economic, business and cultural achievements:
• Recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan; 2005
• Named one of the "Ten Most Influential People" by Saskatchewan Business Magazine; 2006
• Awarded the CANDO "Economic Developer of the Year"; 2006
• Awarded the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations’ “Circle of Honour Award for Community-Based First Nation Business”; 2009
• Received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the highest recognition given to residents of the province; December 2011
• Whitecap signed the Framework Agreement for Self Governance, which kick-started Whitecap’s journey towards self-governance; January 2012
• Honoured with the prestigious Diamond Jubilee Medal, reflecting his commitment to service; May 2012
• Named an Inaugural Grandey Leadership Honouree; 2013, and
• The City of Saskatoon bestowed a municipal park in his honour; 2013
As a respected business leader, Chief Bear has volunteered his expertise on several economic boards and committees. He has been innovative in his approach to business development and has invited others to partner with the WDC and share in the benefits of profitable business relationships. He has also furthered First Nation relationships with the non-First Nation community; particularly the Saskatchewan business community through his partnerships and relationship building strategies.
Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Degree presented by: President Gordon Barnhart

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