In February 2013, ITA's Director of Aboriginal Initiatives Gary McDermott, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
"It's a very gratifying experience after working for so long."
Gary's career in public service started 20 years ago, when he joined the BC Ministry of Child and Family Development. Before this, he studied as a Professional Cook and worked in food services while earning a degree in Social Work. Gary emphasizes that trades training can teach a strong work ethic and help the First Nations community become a solid part of the economy.
"Since my first 30 years of life had no contact with my (Aboriginal) people, I wanted to be able to work with them, now that I felt I had something to offer."
A foster child who spent his early years on a farm in Northern Alberta, Gary says, "The Aboriginal community is a place where I feel comfortable, accepted and lets me give back."
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
The Diamond Jubilee award was created in 2012 as a way to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Gary McDermott, along with fellow ITA Aboriginal Advisory Council members Jerry Asp (Tahltan Nation) and John Harper, are recipients of the Queen’s Jubilee Medals.