Kitchener-Waterloo

Guelph author Thomas King named Companion of the Order of Canada

Guelph author Thomas King has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. He is being recognized for his "enduring contributions to the preservation and recognition of Indigenous culture."

King among 114 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced Friday

Thomas King, author of Indians on Vacation, has been named a Companion to the Order of Canada. (CBC/Sinisa Jolic, HarperCollins Publishers)

Guelph author Thomas King has been named a companion of the Order of Canada.

He's among 114 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced Friday morning. Companion is the highest level of the Order. 

King said he was stunned to learn that he had been named for the achievement, adding that it's an honour for him to be among the names on the list. 

"Particularly nice as I was in the same group as Tom Jackson, and Monique Begin. Both of whom I know and have a great deal of respect for, so it's nice to be in that kind of company," said King in an interview with CBC News.

The Order honours people whose service "shapes our society and whose innovations ignite our imaginations, and whose compassion unites our communities." 

King is being recognized for his "enduring contributions to the preservation and recognition of Indigenous culture." 

Sees self as 'placeholder'

"I have a bit of a problem with that," King said about the specifics of the recognition. 

"There are so many people in Canada who are doing more than I do for that. I tend to do my part, very small part, on an international, national stage. But there are very many people who work at the grassroots level on the reserve or in cities who have been doing this all of their lives. I have too, but many of those people just don't get the recognition they should."

King said he sees himself as a "placeholder" and represents a larger group of people in the country who also work hard to highlight Indigenous culture. 

King is a best selling author and won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction for his book The Back of the Turtle and the RBC Taylor Prize for The Inconvenient Indian.

He said the designation might "recharge his batteries," and added he will have new works coming out in the new year. 

He and the others named to the Order will accept their insignia at a ceremony at a later date.

Listen to this interview with Thomas King on The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers:

Thomas King talks about the autobiographical inspiration by his novel Indians on Vacation, which is longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize. 16:47

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now