WINNIPEG, MB. - Canadian Governor General, Julie Payette and Manitoba Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon presented honours in recognition of outstanding Indigenous leadership to 15 Manitobans this week.
These awards honour some of our provinces most dedicated Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders who are working to strengthen urban and rural Indigenous communities and create an environment in which reconciliation is possible.
Here are the people recognized;
SOVEREIGN’S MEDAL’S FOR VOLUNTEERS RECIPIENTS
Michael Patrick Belhumeur of Winnipeg. For nearly 40 years, Belhumeur has contributed significantly to the care and support of his city’s most vulnerable members. Through his work with the Urban Knights and Ladies Veterans Ambassador Peace Patrol, he has given much-needed assistance to Indigenous youth and veterans.
Lucille Bruce of Winnipeg. Bruce has worked with Winnipeg’s Indigenous population for more than 25 years. A resourceful and collaborative leader, she has a proven record of producing results and is greatly admired for her dedication to ensuring community development.
David Chartrand of Duck Bay. Chartrand is the longest-serving president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. During his presidency, he has advanced the cause of the Métis nation at both the provincial and national levels. His dedication to the community has created greater opportunities for all Manitobans.
Philip Chiappetta of Winnipeg. For more than 35 years, Chiappetta has worked with Rossbrook House, an inner-city drop-off centre for at-risk youth. His dedication to helping troubled adolescents has saved many lives and inspired others to volunteer.
Hazel and Jim Corman of Herb Lake Landing. Since 2003, the Corman’s have been known as the most dedicated volunteers in the Herb Lake Landing community. Within this small municipality, they promote traditional culture and encourage other residents to volunteer.
Greg Shedden of Stonewall. For 15 years, Shedden has inspired his students to be good citizens by teaching them that they can make a difference in the world. In addition to his contributions in the classroom, he volunteers his time to a number of student-run social justice clubs and initiatives including the anti-tobacco group and the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.
Harold Westdal of Winnipeg. Westdal became a board member with the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) in 2004, while also serving as president of the Manitoba Recreational Trails Association. His dedication to connecting Canadians through both organizations has contributed to the success of the TCT in Manitoba.
MERITORIUS SERVICE DECORATIONS – CIVIL DIVISION RECIPIENTS
Mitch Bourbonniere of Winnipeg. Bourbonniere, a social worker, has devoted his career and his personal time to mentoring, counselling and supporting at-risk youth in Winnipeg. He has changed the lives of hundreds of young people leaving the foster care and the criminal justice systems, dealing with addiction or struggling to cope with mental health challenges by combining Indigenous traditions and the doctrine of helping yourself through helping others.
Michael Redhead Champagne of Winnipeg. Champagne has demonstrated outstanding leadership as the founder of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, a community-based organization offering support to at-risk youth in Winnipeg’s North End neighbourhood. A true mentor to local Indigenous youth, he guides them through numerous community projects to help give them a sense of accomplishment and build their self-esteem.
James Favel and Larry Morrissette (posthumous) of Winnipeg. Favel and the late Morrissette were leaders in establishing the Bear Clan Patrol, a grassroots outreach group in north Winnipeg. Trained volunteers patrol the streets at night, handing out food packets and hygiene items to the homeless, helping people under the influence of drugs or alcohol to safety and, when needed, searching for missing people. Their presence is imbuing the neighbourhood with a stronger sense of community and security.
Althea Guiboche of Winnipeg. Guiboche, once homeless herself, founded Got Bannock?, an organization that helps Winnipeg’s most vulnerable. Since 2013, the program has delivered more than 10,000 meals to people in the city’s north end. She has become an important voice for the city’s disadvantaged and an advocate for the eradication of poverty.
Ry Moran of Winnipeg. Moran led the team that amassed thousands of statements and millions of documents for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, collecting testimony and creating a sensitive environment for individuals affected by the Indian Residential School System. As the director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, he is now ensuring that those historical records are honoured and kept safe for future generations.
Diane Louise Roussin of Winnipeg. Roussin’s leadership at the helm of the Winnipeg Boldness Project has resulted in innovative projects benefitting children and families living in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas neighbourhood. Through programs celebrating Indigenous culture, she offers teachers tools to encourage young people to proudly explore their roots.