When MyPGNow asked John Brink on his most memorable moments in Canada, he said this was certainly up there.

The University of Northern British Columbia announced that Brink, along with Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, would be recipients of the school’s honorary degrees during the 2019 convocation ceremony on May 31. Brinks, a forestry industry pioneer, and philanthropist in Prince George, and Archibald, an indigenous educator, researcher, and scholar, will receive honorary Doctor of Laws degrees.

“I’m humbled and honoured because from an institution like UNBC, which is an amazing university,” said Brink. “Not only in Northern BC but known across the country — it’s a great, great honour. I’m humbled and very pleased for that honour.”

John Brink will receive an honorary degree at UNBC’s convocation for the College of Science and Management. Photo: UNBC

Brink is the Chief Executive Officer of Brink Forest Products, the largest secondary wood manufacturing company in Canada and 13th largest forest company in British Columbia.

In 1975, Brink established his business after immigrating to Canada from Holland a decade prior.

“Arriving in Canada in 1965 at the age of 24, I had a dream of building a sawmill,” said Brink. “I had one suitcase, the clothing on my back and $25.47 in my pocket. Most importantly, I had a dream I would never give up on.”

Brink says his message that he’ll convey to students at the convocation ceremony will be related to attitude, passion, and work ethic. All of which are the three pillars he’s strived towards throughout his career and time here in Canada.

Brink will receive his honorary degree at the College of Science and management ceremony on May 31 at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald will receive an honorary degree at UNBC’s convocation for the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences. Photo: UNBC

“I feel very honoured and humbled about receiving this honorary degree from the University of Northern of British Columbia,” said Dr. Archibald. “I was always impressed with the university commitment to Indigenous peoples and their communities. At the same time, I admired and valued the expertise, scholarship, and work of the faculty, staff, and students.”

Over a 45-year educational career, Dr. Archibald has been a school teacher, curriculum developer, researcher, university leader, and professor.

She has published a number of publications with regards to Indigenous education. In 2008, Indigenous Sotrywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit was published and continues to be used for educational purposes to this day.

Archibald will receive her honorary degree at the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences ceremony on May 31, which will get underway at 9:30 a.m.