Celebrating the Date of Birth of Katimavik Co-Founder Jacques Hébert
June 21, 2020 – Today would have been the birthday of the late Honourable Senator Jacques Hébert, who co-founded Katimavik with the late Honourable Barney Danson in 1977.
On this day, Katimavik as an organization pauses to reflect on the tremendous legacy left by Mr. Hébert and the impact his work continues to have in our country among a new generation of Canadians. Every day, Katimavik participants continue to reap the rewards of Mr. Hébert’s dedication to youth empowerment and to the building of a better country.
Throughout his public life, Mr. Hébert was a strong advocate for giving youth the skills, knowledge, and experience to play an active role in society.
A year after Katimavik was created, Mr. Hébert was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1983 he was appointed as a Canadian Senator, a position he held for 15 years.
After co-founding the Organization, Mr. Hébert remained involved in Katimavik throughout the rest of his life, serving as its Chair for a number of years. In 1986, he went on a 21-day hunger strike to protest the first attempt to dismantle Katimavik by the newly-elected Government of the day. Funding was subsequently restored and Katimavik survived.
“The impact of Mr. Hébert’s commitment to Katimavik has been felt by Canada’s youth for over forty years now,” said Katimavik Chief Executive Officer John-Frederick Cameron. “The magnitude of his genius and vision has been unquestionable for over 36,000 Katimavik Alumni, and Canada is better as a result. We are truly grateful.”
Katimavik offers young adults opportunities to gain life skills and work experience while contributing to community development through volunteerism. The word ‘Katimavik’ originates from the Inuktitut language, meaning ‘meeting place’. Since 1977, Katimavik has brought young Canadians together to learn, to exchange culture and language, and to help build stronger communities across Canada. Katimavik aims to help youth become engaged, caring citizens and capable contributors and leaders for a better Canada. We do this through the development of 21st-century skills, experiential learning, and civic engagement.