Profile of Dr. Flora MacDonald
MacDonald served as a member of Parliament for Kingston and the
Islands; she has held three cabinet positions: secretary of state
for External Affairs, minister of Employment and Immigration, and
minister of Communications.
and educated in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Dr. MacDonald is a graduate
of Empire Business College and the National Defence College, majoring
in Canadian and international studies. She holds honorary degrees
from several institutions, including Queen's, McMaster and Acadia
universities and the University of Edinburgh, and honorary Doctor
of Law from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
her career in Parliament, Dr. MacDonald was visiting fellow at the
Centre for Canadian Studies of the University of Edinburgh and special
adviser to the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning.
1990 to 1994 she was the host of the popular television series North
South, a weekly human affairs series featuring countries in the
developing world. She has chaired the International Development
Research Centre and served on the Carnegie Commission on the Prevention
of Deadly Conflict, and is chair of Future Generations and the World
Federalists of Canada. She is on the board or the advisory council
of the Shastri Indo-Canada Advisory Council, the Canadian Council
for Refugees, CARE Canada, CODE, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative,
Friends of the National Library, National Museum of Scotland, and
UNIFEM. She is also honorary president, Association of Canadian
MacDonald was named an officer of the Order of Canada in April 1993,
a companion of the Order of Canada in 1999, and named to the Order
of Ontario in 1995. In 1999 she was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal.
2004, Government of India conferred the ‘Padma Shri Award’
— one of the highest civilian awards in India, conferred for
distinguished service and excellence in different fields of endeavour
— to Honourable Flora MacDonald.
Flora MacDonald is on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council
of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), a bilateral India-Canada
education and research institute set up in 1968. The aim of the
Institute is to support and promote the advancement of knowledge
and understanding of one country amongst the scholars and students
of the other. Flora MacDonald has contributed actively to the progress
and growth of the SICI over the years, and continues to provide
valuable advice as the Chairman of the Advisory Council.
Ms. MacDonald's Association with India
the course of her career, Flora MacDonald has travelled
frequently to India. Currently, her main involvement in
India centers around the following:
Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Generations – An American NGO which provides training
in community development (health, literacy, conservation,
micro credit) with projects in Arunachal Pradesh &
Human Rights Initiative, with headquarters in New Delhi.
HelpAge India (till recently Flora MacDonald was Chairperson
of HelpAge International).
of the Talk
Personal experiences with "What makes the state of
Arunachal Pradesh unique?"
Pradesh (AP) is part of what are called the Seven Sister States
of the Northeast of India.
is the most north-easterly state of India, wedged between Tibet
and Myanmar and up against the border with China. It has been designated
prohibited territory because of the potential threat of invasion
from China (the last time that occurred was in 1962). In
the past AP has been referred to as India's "Forgotten State";
its name means "Land of the dawn-lit mountains."
its borders is to be found one of the richest concentrations of
bio-diversity in the world. 65% of Arunachalis belong to 20 major-collective
tribes and 82 tribes, who had a heritage of a diverse and rich culture,
language and beliefs. Most of them are either of Tibetan or of Thai-Burmese
origin. Various tribal groups reside in the deep and fertile valleys
that dissect the high mountains of the eastern Himalayas; to reach
them I travel along the Brahamaputra River in a small Zodiac for
hundreds of miles, sleeping on the river banks at night.
NGO that I chair, Future Generations, has been present in Arunanchal
Pradesh for some years, providing training for villagers in health,
hygiene and environmental programs.