The Honorary Doctorate recipient at University Canada West’s 2022 Fall Convocation Ceremony is an accomplished businessperson who has been at the forefront of establishing links in a cross-cultural business environment in Canada for more than 40 years.

Matt Vickers, who is widely recognized for his important contributions to Canada and Canada’s Indigenous people, received the Doctor of Laws degree during UCW’s convocation ceremony on October 28.

“We are thrilled to bestow an honorary doctorate on Matt Vickers, recognizing his important contributions to Canada and Canada’s Indigenous people over the past four decades,” said UCW President and Vice-Chancellor Sheldon Levy. “His commitment to creating an enduring legacy that will educate and impact the world is not only an inspiration to all of us at UCW, but to many others in Canada and around the world.”

Mr. Vickers, who is of Tsimshian, Heiltsuk, Haida and English heritage, is an accomplished businessperson who has been at the forefront of establishing links in a cross-cultural business environment across various industries, including arts and culture, finance, healthcare, government and information technology.

As Director and Chief Executive Officer of NorthernNations Cooperative, Senior Associate with IMC and Managing Director of Indigenous Engagement with Hillcore Group, Mr. Vickers, who is also known by his Tsimshian hereditary name, Gunaatsk, is responsible for developing strategy and advancing new business opportunities with First Nations communities.

Before taking on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for Eagle Dancer Enterprises Limited in 1992, Mr. Vickers owned and managed Vickers & Associates, a management consultancy. There he became known as one of the top Aboriginal administrative managers in Canada with a successful track record of matching the needs of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal potential business partners in organizing and developing business ventures.

Mr. Vickers was a Senior Manager with Royal Bank Financial Group, where he assisted in developing their Aboriginal Banking program. In 1999, Mr. Vickers and Royal Bank Financial Group received an End Racism Award from the Government of British Columbia for the Cross-Cultural Awareness Training sessions that Mr. Vickers developed and delivered nationally and internationally. Mr. Vickers has also received the Distinguished Service Award – Human Rights from the Vancouver Multiculturalism Society and the Outstanding Tsimshian Achievement Award from the Vancouver local Tsimshian Tribal Council.

Over the years, Mr. Vickers has held and continues to hold, various appointments, including Commissioner for the BC Forest Resources Commission, member of the Provincial Task Force on the Environment and Economy in BC, member of the Provincial Devolution Committee (Assembly of First Nations), Director of the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) Art Foundation, Director for the Native Fishing Association, External Thought Leader for the Auditor General of BC and member of the Vancouver Chief of Police’s Advisory Committee.

And in September, Fulbright Canada announced Mr. Vickers as one of the co-chairs of the Honouring Nations Canada Circle of Advisors. Honouring Nations Canada was established to recognize, celebrate and share stories of Indigenous achievement and promote and encourage opportunities for Indigenous persons.

In his address to the graduating class, Mr. Vickers told students, “I was taught at a very young age by my grandfather that the key to success is very simple. As you have done and are doing, work hard. But most importantly, be honest. I congratulate each and every one of you for the hard work that you have done, accomplished, are doing and will do.”

For more on UCW Fall 2022 Convocation, read the stories below:

Published on October 28, 2022.
Updated November 14, 2022.