Two historians from Faculty of Arts named to the Order of Canada

Carmen Rojas - 30 June 2023

The Faculty of Arts is proud to announce the appointment of two faculty members to the Order of Canada – an honour reserved for people who have made extraordinary contributions to the nation. 

Professors Sarah Carter and Beverly Lemire – both from the Department of History, Classics, and Religion – were among the appointees announced by Governor General Mary Simon on June 30, 2023. 

“Dr. Carter and Dr. Lemire are longstanding and highly-respected members of our community, each incredibly deserving of such a prestigious honour,” says Faculty of Arts Dean Robert Wood. “They have made immense contributions to the Faculty of Arts and the U of A, as well as to advancing scholarship in their respective fields of study in innovative and groundbreaking ways. Their work has not only shed new light on the past but helped to inform a deeper understanding of issues that continue to affect our society today.”

Carter (who is cross-appointed with the Faculty of Native Studies) and Lemire are internationally-respected scholars whose research interests and methods have impacted the way history is studied, bringing into focus the experiences of marginalized groups such as women and Indigenous peoples. 

Among their many awards and accolades, they both hold Henry Marshall Tory Chairs and fellowships in the Royal Society of Canada. 

"Dr. Carter and Dr. Lemire have made transformative contributions to the field of history, and their induction into the Order of Canada is a clear recognition of the significance of their work,” says Aminah Robinson, VP Research and Innovation. 

“In centring the experiences of marginalized groups, they have redefined the study of history -- each in their own way -- uncovering previously overlooked narratives and amplifying historical voices that often go unheard,” she adds. “The University of Alberta applauds their profound impact on historical scholarship and invaluable insights into contemporary challenges concerning culture, the economy and the pursuit of gender and racial equity."

Sarah Carter

“I am thrilled,” says Carter, who is now a professor emerita, of her Order of Canada appointment. “This is an immense honour and I am humbly thankful for this recognition. The U of A has been a congenial and collegial environment for me and I thank colleagues, students and staff. My late husband Walter Hildebrandt encouraged and supported me every step of the way.”

Throughout her career, Carter has opened new lines of inquiry into Western Canadian history, with a particular focus on settler-Indigenous history and nation building. Her award-winning scholarship re-conceptualizes established accounts of settler colonialism in Canada by illuminating struggles for Indigenous rights and gender equality. In doing so, it also provides perspectives that are essential to understanding contemporary issues of discrimination. 

Carter has also been extensively involved in public outreach efforts, such as working with and for Indigenous communities, sharing the insights of her research with government policy makers and contributing her expertise to important court cases. 

Beverly Lemire

“I am honoured and delighted by this appointment to the Order of Canada,” says Lemire. “My work has been immeasurably enriched by the colleagues, students, and resources of the University of Alberta, plus the rock-solid support of my family and wide network of friends.”  

Lemire is a leading researcher in the fields of the history of consumption, consumer credit, household management, second-hand trade in clothing and the development of the cotton trade on a global scale, with a focus on the British imperial world from 1600 to 1850. 

Her trailblazing work emphasizes the way in which textiles and material culture are connected to economic and cultural development, as well as how they have shaped issues of gender and race. 

Through the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives she brings to her research, Lemire has transformed her field and introduced models that have recast the study of history.