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, MLA Selkirk
April 22, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipients

On April the 9th it was my pleasure to award Queen's Diamond Jubilee medals to three outstanding Aboriginal individuals who are working to create positive change in our community.

Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Chief Jim Bear–I think known to many in this room–has spent his entire life working to improve the lives of Aboriginal people. Mr. Speaker, he's served on many federal and provincial boards and committees. He was a co founder of the Southeast Tribal Council and he was involved in the recovery of the Sergeant Tommy Prince's original war medals–who, in fact, was the uncle of Mr. Bear–which were lost for many years.

Marcella Vezina, who lives in the RM of St. Clements, is another long-time volunteer and community leader, as well as highly respected Metis elder. Mr. Speaker, I have many times sought out her wisdom and guidance. She has been the chairperson of the Patricia Beach Community Club and is currently chairperson of the Stoney Point Metis local.

Amy Smith is a community facilitator with the Selkirk Community Renewal Corporation, and she's particularly great, working with young people, running after-school programs that give children and youth opportunities to develop new skills and have fun. She's also very proud of her Metis heritage and organizes Aboriginal awareness events in our community.

I am very proud to have been able to award these individuals this medal, Mr. Speaker. It's great to see people like Jim, Marcella, Amy and many others working to make our community a better place to live.

Thank you.