At a recent ceremony in Regina, June Avivi received our province’s highest honour — the Saskatchewan Order of Merit — for being a leading Holocaust educator and a staunch advocate for people with intellectual disabilities in Saskatchewan.

A teacher by trade, Mrs. Avivi spent decades in dedicated service to the children of the Saskatoon, making it possible for students to grow up learning the virtues of inclusion and the benefits of diversity.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Four years ago, Congregation Agudas Israel Synagogue renamed the senior classroom after Mrs. Avivi for her years of devoted work. In 2016, she received a Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award from Chief Commissioner David Arnot during a Holocaust Memorial event at the Catholic Cathedral in Saskatoon. And, on November 29,2017, Mrs. Avivi became a 2017 recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

“Great leaders and mentors like June Avivi help shine light into the darkest of areas and encourage students to explore,” said Chief Commissioner David Arnot. “Thanks to her, students in our province have had a chance to study about the Holocaust, engage in courageous conversations, and learn the importance of protecting and respecting the rights of others.”

Along with being an educator, for the past 55 years Mrs. Avivi has also made important contributions as an advocate for people with disabilities. Whether with Community Living Association Saskatoon Inc., the Valley View Centre (VVC) Family Group in Moose Jaw, the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living or the VVC Transition Steering Committee, Mrs. Avivi’s devotion to creating a better quality of life for citizens with disabilities has left a lasting mark in our province.

“June is a wonderful person and an important role model for people in the community,” said Chief Commissioner Arnot. “She is very, very deserving of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.”

Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit recognizes the excellence, achievement and contribution of individuals to the social, cultural and economic well-being of our province and its residents.

For more information about the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, visit  https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/heritage-honours-and-awards/saskatchewan-order-of-merit