KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA (June 9, 2006) – ITAB Chairman, Mr. C.T. (Manny) Jules, received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) today.
Mr. Jules was honoured as an Aboriginal leader and innovator for devoting over 30 years of his life to the betterment of First Nations entrepreneurship and selfgovernment. “Manny Jules is a role model for staff, faculty and students of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ancestry at Thompson Rivers University,” said TRU president Roger Barnsley.
Mr. Jules’ career began in 1974, when he was elected councilor of the Kamloops Indian Band. In 1984, after ten years as a band councilor, he was elected Chief and remained in the position until he retired in 2000. He has been the driving force behind several legislative initiatives, including the passage of Bill C-115 in 1988, the only First Nation-led amendment to the Indian Act, which created the modern form of First Nation property tax and lead to the creation of the Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB) in 1989. Mr. Jules was appointed the first Chairman of the Board and re-appointed twice thereafter.
The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Jim Prentice, also recognized Mr. Jules’ achievement. “I extend my congratulations to Mr. Jules. He is an exemplary First Nation leader whose commitment and dedication is only exceeded by the profound impact his contributions have left on Canada and First Nation relationships. He is truly a role model for all Canadians.”
In 2000, Mr. Jules led another initiative to improve the investment climate on reserve and promote economic growth in First Nation communities. He was the spokesperson for the First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act, which was passed by Parliament, with all-party support, in March 2005. The legislation provides a statutory base to establish four First Nation institutions.
“I would like to thank TRU for giving me this honour. I see a future where there is no Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs has been replaced by our own First Nation public institutions. I am proud to have been able to lead First Nations in this direction and am looking forward to the day I see First Nations enjoy a higher standard of living, like other Canadians, as a result of our work,” said Mr. Jules.
Thompson Rivers University has a main campus in Kamloops and regional centres in Williams Lake and Burnaby. The university offers the widest range of program options of any university in Canada. The Honorary Doctorate is the highest form of recognition offered by the university.