Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Awards for work on aboriginal issues

Governor General recognizes efforts of two Winnipeggers

  • Print
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. Photo Store

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, 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.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 24, 2013 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman pledges to find efficiencies at City Hall

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada Goose cools off in a water pond Monday afternoon at Brookside Cemetary- See Bryksa’s Goose a day Challenge– Day 27-June 25, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you worried Ebola might make its way to Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google