Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - ONLINE EDITION

Awards for work on aboriginal issues

Governor General recognizes efforts of two Winnipeggers

Matt Henderson was recognized for leading his students in researching and publishing a collection of historical fiction.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Matt Henderson was recognized for leading his students in researching and publishing a collection of historical fiction.

Two Winnipeggers are among the Canadians to be honoured with awards from the Governor General at Rideau Hall for work linked to aboriginal issues.

Nahanni Fontaine

Enlarge Image

Nahanni Fontaine

Nahanni Fontaine, a special adviser on aboriginal women's issues for the province, was named one of five recipients of the 2013 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Person's Cases.

Matt Henderson, a teacher at St. John's-Ravenscourt School, is one of six Canadians named as a 2013 recipient of the Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

An Ojibway from Sagkeeng First Nation, Fontaine was named for her work to advance recognition of, and action on, the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal girls and women. "I'm really honoured and humbled by this," Fontaine said.

She said the award is a testament to the importance of building relationships between the victims' families, the government and the police investigating the murders and disappearances.

Henderson claimed the honour for his work into the Idle No More movement in 2012 and how the events of history shaped its progression. With his Grade 11 class of 20 students, Henderson's guidance led to an examination of the key moments in the early fur trade and subsequent government legislation in the following decades.

This work resulted in a published book of short historical fiction titled Because of a Hat, a collection based around the development of the Red River region, the rise of the Hudson's Bay Company and Northwest Company and the birth of a Métis nation between 1738 and 1869.

Henderson said the credit is shared with his class. "I'm excited," he said, adding the award names him, but it's really for the work his students did to research and publish the book.

"I feel a little silly about it; that's what teachers are supposed to do and the kids did all the work," Henderson said.

Henderson's award is presented by the Governor General, but award recipients are chosen by the national, Winnipeg-based Canada's History Society. Using its role to popularize Canada's history, the society publishes the magazine Canada's History.

Deborah Morrison, CEO of the society, said the award is the country's top history honour and it encourages teachers to help students find their place in Canadian history.

In an interview, she said Henderson took his class to the Manitoba Archives at the height of the Idle No More rallies last winter and urged them to look at the Hudson Bay Archives and private journals there to explore the roots of the relationship between Canada's indigenous people and the fur traders in Western Canada.

"He's a brilliant teacher and he recognized the (significance) of the records and with the book the rest of us can benefit from it," Morrison said.

Fontaine will be presented with her award at a ceremony Tuesday at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Henderson will get an awards certificate from Canada's History Society on Friday at Kildonan East Collegiate, followed by a formal presentation at Rideau Hall on Nov. 19.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media