Honorary UBC Degree for Garry Merkel
Kimberley area resident Garry Merkel is among 18 people receiving honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia (UBC) this spring, including B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
“A member of the Tahltan Nation, Garry Merkel (pictured) has had a long-term interest in the culturally relevant education of Indigenous peoples. A Registered Professional Forester, a small sampling of his numerous activities includes chairing the Aboriginal Forestry Education and Training Review that fostered a national post-secondary approach to improving Indigenous resource management education in Canada.
“He also worked with the UBC First Nations House of Learning to establish an Aboriginal Forestry Initiative at UBC, and he is the co-founder and co-chair of the First Nations Council of Advisors for the UBC Faculty of Forestry,” UBC recounts in a brief bio.
Merkel was also instrumental in the formation of Columbia Basin Trust (Trust), first as part of the committee that negotiated with the Province of B.C. for the establishment of the Trust, and then as a founding member of the board. He served as vice-chair from 1995 to 2006 and chair from 2007 to 2013.