The impact of his life hit Raymond Mason has stood with his son and grandson, receiving an honorary doctorate of law this week.
This week he stood with his family, Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson, and others as he was given an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Queen's University. He says this honour blew him away.
"It makes all my efforts and work that I have done worthwhile. I worked a number of decades, four or five decades since 1986, to bring those agreements, the Indian Residential School agreement and the day school agreement, to fruition and the development of what it is. I played a key role in that and I am very honoured and proud to say that," Mason says, thanking everyone who worked with him.
Mason is a Residential School Survivor with many accomplishments behind his name for his work advocating for Survivors. He is an activist, playing a key role in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. This doctorate is honouring his commitment.
"I didn't know I did so much in my life until I heard them speak," Mason says. "I never kept a log of what I did, I just did it because my Creator told me to do it. Throughout his life, Mason has worked hard to advocate, but when he was a young man life was different.
"When I was 25 years old or so, I was a different type of person then, Mason says. "I bounced from job to job and I wasn't very good at keeping relationships."
He says this instability came from the colonial education system he was forced into. Turning his life around, Mason made a huge difference in the lives of many other Survivors.
"I thank the good Lord that I was able to find myself and to correct things on time," he says. "Had it not been for my Lord, my keeper, I don't think I would have been here today to talk about it."
Mason says he was able to apologize and make up with his children, making this week's moment with his son and grandson so special.
"I never thought that I would be here to see that day happen, and to have my son put that robe on me and assure that everything is ok. I am a sick person today and I do not let that get in the way of what I have to do."
Mason has cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that damages organs, and uses oxygen.
He has written about his experiences in his book Spirit of the Grassroots People.