Yonah Martin


1965 –

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Who is Yonah Martin?

Yonah Kim-Martin is a Conservative Senator from British Columbia. She was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and is the first Canadian of Korean descent to hold federal public office.

A professional educator for twenty-one years, Martin graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and taught English and drama at W.J. Mouat Secondary School in Abbotsford, BC, for fourteen years. She earned a Master of Education degree in 1996, and went on to teach at several more schools in Burnaby and Coquitlam school districts until her Senate appointment, effective January 2, 2009. She ran as a Conservative candidate in the 2008 federal election. Martin was narrowly defeated, but shortly thereafter appointed to the Senate.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Martin immigrated to Canada with her family in 1972, settling in Vancouver. With deep roots in both Korean and Canadian heritage, she became a prominent community figure in 2003 when she co-founded a non-profit organization, the Corean Canadian Coactive Society.

Martin currently serves on several other boards and committees, including the Multicultural Advisory Council of BC,. She is an alumna and honorary patron of the St. Patrick Regional Secondary School Concert and Chamber Choirs, and has been part of the organizing committee for the annual Korean Heritage Day Festival since 2003. In recognition of her community service in the Tri-Cities area, Martin was awarded the 2004 Spirit of Community Award for Cultural Harmony She was also awarded the Order of Civil Merit Moran Medal on October 9, 2009 by the Republic of Korea for National Development in the enhancement of the rights of overseas Koreans.

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Apr 11, 1965
  • Canada
  • University of British Columbia

on July 23, 2013


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