The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 – 5:00 p.m.
Dear friends and fellow Manitobans – seekers, listeners, people of vision – welcome to this celebration of a life dedicated to understanding.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
I acknowledge that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived here long before this place became known as Winnipeg. And our city and province remain home to a large and vibrant Indigenous community.
We are gathered here near the start not just of a new year, but a new decade, for a celebration that will inspire us all to make the most of the time ahead.
We are also meeting as Manitoba approaches its 150th anniversary and the excitement of Manitoba 150 commemorations grows closer. Over the next year, we will have many opportunities to come together and reflect on what makes a just and healthy society and what we can do to make Manitoba a better place.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Interreligious Understanding celebrates Manitobans who work at the most profound level to bring Manitobans together.
Of course, there are many wonderful ways of bringing people together. We gather in groups to cheer on the Jets or the Blue Bombers, to be entranced by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet or the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, to enjoy the celebrations and fireworks at Canada Day or the cultural discoveries of Folklorama.
All of those shared experiences do help to bring about bonds of friendship and common understanding.
But the deepest and most powerful connections are formed when we share with one another our thoughts and beliefs around the profound questions of life, death, values and purpose.
Sharing of this kind allows us to explore the beauty of the language, music and rituals we use to express concepts beyond our day-to-day understanding. And this sharing helps us better appreciate our differences and see the all that have in common.
Recipients of this award – like Reverend Sensei Fredrich Louis Ulrich – help their fellow Manitobans appreciate the wisdom that comes from across the human experience.
In schools, hospitals, interfaith meetings, the media and elsewhere, he has helped the people of Manitoba find comfort, peace, understanding and common ground.
As we get back to work after the holidays and think about what we wish to accomplish in 2020 and beyond, his example is a beacon guiding us to toward the most important goals.
Congratulations Sensei Ulrich and thank you for building understanding in our province and our world.