Established in 1985, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit is a prestigious recognition of excellence, achievement and contributions to the social, cultural and economic well being of the province and its residents. The Order recognizes individuals who have made their mark in such areas as the arts, agriculture, business and industry, community leadership, the occupations or professions, public service, research, and volunteer service. It takes precedence over all other provincial honours and awards.
Criteria and Selection
Any Canadian citizen who is a current or former long-term resident of Saskatchewan is eligible for nomination and any individual or group may submit nominations. Only individuals may be nominated, not organizations or groups. Posthumous nominations are accepted within one year of the date of death. A public call for nominations is made in the spring. From the nominations received the Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council may recommend up to a maximum of 10 members of the Order annually.
The insignia worn by members of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit includes a silver and enamel medal representing a stylized western red lily (the provincial floral emblem), bearing the Crown and Saskatchewan shield of arms, surrounded by the provincial motto, Multis e gentibus vires (From many peoples strength), and suspended from a gold and green ribbon, the provincial colours. They also receive a lapel pin representing a stylized lily and bearing the Crown. Each member of the Order receives an official certificate in the form of Letters Patent, sealed with the Great Seal of the Province of Saskatchewan. These are presented by the Lieutenant Governor at a formal investiture in the fall. Members of the Order are entitled to use the post-nominal letters S.O.M.
The Athabasca Gallery on the main floor of the Legislative Building contains the photographic portraits of the members of the Order and the citations read at their investiture.
In 1991 the Government of Canada granted recognition to the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and a place in the national sequence of orders, decorations and medals; immediately after national orders and before national decorations. By seniority of its establishment, it ranks after l'Ordre national du Québec and before the Order of Ontario, Order of British Columbia, Alberta Order of Excellence, Order of Prince Edward Island, Order of Manitoba, Order of New Brunswick, Order of Nova Scotia, and Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
This means that recipients of Saskatchewan's Order of Merit are entitled to wear it on national occasions and recipients of Canada's national honours who also receive Saskatchewan honours may wear both in the sequence approved by the Governor General.