Devon Clunis named as Honorary Diploma Recipient

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Assiniboine will be presenting former appointed Chief of the Winnipeg Police Service, Devon Clunis, with an honorary diploma at the fall graduate ceremonies that will be held the week of October 26, 2020.

"Devon Clunis has had a long and distinguished career centered around community, public safety and social equity," said Mark Frison, president of Assiniboine.

"We are thrilled to be celebrating him in front of graduates embarking on their careers, as his contributions to Manitoba over the decades serves as a model for what is possible in public safety occupations."

Assiniboine awards honorary diplomas to individuals who demonstrate high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.

"I am thankful to Assiniboine Community College for this honor. I entered policing to impact social change and did my best to pursue that purpose throughout my career and continue to do so in retirement,” said Chief Clunis.

I certainly did not enter policing to receive awards but it is gratifying to have my efforts recognized and appreciated. Thank you, Assiniboine, for this honor. It encourages me to continue working to make social equity a reality.

Born in Jamaica, Clunis immigrated to Winnipeg with his family at the age of 11. His desire to create social change led him to join the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) in 1987.

During his time with the WPS, he served in many areas of the organization, progressing through the ranks until he was the first black Canadian to be appointed as a Chief of Police, a role he held from 2012 until his retirement in 2016.

Clunis's leadership philosophy is "people first" and he consistently sought to create a healthy work environment for those he was privileged to lead. During his tenure as Chief, Clunis understood the need to do things differently and to challenge organizational norms with a strong focus on community policing and cross-cultural integration.

In addition to serving in numerous volunteer roles over the years, Clunis was a member of the Poverty Reduction Council of Winnipeg and participated in mentorship programs. He was a recipient of the Police Service's Award of Excellence in 2002 for his outstanding police and community work. Clunis continues to serve as a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Police Knowledge Network.

Even in retirement, Clunis continues to serve the community in different ways. In 2017 Devon and his wife, Pearlene, started Clunis Consulting Group, an organization which strives to build a culturally diverse and inclusive society.

On February 7, 2017, Clunis was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding by the Lieutenant Governor.

A multi-skilled team, Clunis and his wife have authored two children’s books, “The Little Boy from Jamaica: A Canadian History Story” and “The Little Girl from Osoyoos”.

Assiniboine awards honorary diplomas to individuals who demonstrate high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.

List of past Assiniboine honorary diploma recipients:

2019 Kelly McCrimmon

2018 Ron Helwer

2017 Phil Fontaine

2016 Beverly Bunn

2016 Ian Grant

2016 Jason Yates

2016 Rick Borotsik

2015 Mildred Murray

2014 Jim Treliving

2014 Harvey Armstrong

2013 Dave Baxter

2012 Carmel Olson

2012 Allen Dowhan

2011 Dennis Hunt

2010 Bob Mazer