Nelson Mandela, the former leader of independent South Africa, was the first foreign head of state to receive the Order of Canada in 1998.
The African leader died a few days ago after a long illness at the age of 95.
Mandela was also granted honourary Canadian citizenship. This is a rare honour shared by a handful of people from around the world.
Canada and South Africa have always enjoyed warm and special relations since Mandela was freed from prison where he spent 27 years.
Less than 130 days after he was freed, Mandela was at the House of Commons in Ottawa.
He was laid into the chamber by then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney whose leadership on the world stage against South African apartheid was recognized and admired by many world leaders.