Outstanding Indigenous Leadership Award Ceremony and Reception

Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Government House
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 – 5:00 pm

Special guests all – knowledge keepers – volunteers, problem-solvers, builders of understanding and hope – family and friends of recipients. Award recipients welcome to Government House and this celebration of service and leadership.

We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.

Today we are gathered as part of an initiative launched last year by our former Governor General to recognize 150 individuals across Canada for their contributions to the advancement of Indigenous issues and the process of reconciliation.

For people across Canada, last year’s 150th anniversary of Confederation provided a launching pad for conversations about how Canadians have learned and grown and how we can work together to build a better country for everybody.

The 150 individuals being recognized through this initiative have spent many years inspiring us through their dedication, innovation and hard work. Many of them have spent a large part of their lives advancing understanding, finding solutions to pressing needs, and teaching others.

As part of this initiative, two awards that are part of the Canadian Honours System have been dedicated this year to individuals who have worked to advance Indigenous issues and the reconciliation process.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is a medal presented to outstanding volunteers who have made long-term contributions in a wide range of fields. Today we will bestow Sovereign’s Medals upon eight deserving individuals.

The Meritorious Service Decoration is presented to individuals who provide an important service to their community or country through their commitment to solutions to pressing needs. Today, we recognize seven individuals with Meritorious Service Decorations.

Building a healthy, just and vibrant society that provides opportunities for all to live in dignity is a goal that requires imagination and hard work.

It requires people who are willing to give their time building community and advancing understanding and nurturing hope. It requires people who lead by example as they work at the local, national or international level to make the world a better place.

It is my honour to be able to share this moment with this group of great leaders and dedicated volunteers.

Canada is better today because of your efforts. And Canada will be better in the future because of the many others you inspire.

Congratulations and thank you, merci, meegwich.