The people of Canada are the unique recipients of an award for their work on behalf of refugees.
It was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, then Jean-Pierre Hocké, who, in 1986 presented the UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award to “the people of Canada” through then Governor General Sauvé. The award recognizes the work of Canada in helping to alleviate the very difficult situations of refugees around the world. It was the first time the award was presented to an entire nation. In this extract from the award ceremony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the High Commissioner and the Governor General speak and the award medal is presented. Also on the dais are the Honourable Flora MacDonald, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Gerry Weiner, then Minister of State (Immigration) and Michael Schelew, then President of the Canadian Council for Refugees. The web publishing of this video from the 1986 Nansen Award ceremony is courtesy of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2014.