More than 200 guests including students, faculty, members and friends of the LGBTQ community gathered in Hart House's Great Hall for the 2017 Bonham Centre Awards Gala on April 26. The annual event celebrates individuals who have made contributions to the advancement of sexual diversity and this year, Indigenous LBGTQ leaders Lee Maracle, Kent Monkman, Candy Palmater, and Teddy Syrette were honoured.
Maracle is an elder and prolific author, Monkman is one of Canada's leading artists, Palmater is an entertainer and speaker on Indigenous issues, and Syrette is a two-spirit activist and facilitator.
Master of ceremonies Brenda Cossman, Director of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at University College and a Professor in the Faculty of Law, praised the recipients, who have "fought to include Indigenous world views in conversations of gender and sexuality."
Speaking to the importance of acknowledging the contributions of this group were the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and the Ontario Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, The Honourable David Zimmer. The Chancellor of the University of Toronto, The Honourable Michael Wilson, closed the proceedings with remarks on how the University is implementing recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.