OTTAWA, ON., March 8, 2023 – Tonight at Canada’s Centre for Geography and Education,
the inaugural “Âpihtawikosisân Iskwêwak: Honouring Métis Matriarchs” awards ceremony
is being co-hosted by partners Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak (LFMO) and the Royal
Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). Today, March 8 th , is International Women’s Day, and
LFMO and RCGS have joined together to create a special event to honor outstanding Métis
women who are leaders in their respective life’s work.
This year, there are five Métis women being honored at the event: Michelle LeClair, Victoria De
La Ronde, Chelsea Vowel, Tai Amy Grauman, and Dr. Chantal Fiola. All of these women have
been courageous and outspoken leaders in their life’s work, including academia, social justice,
the arts, law, and public service.
Tonight’s event brings a longtime vision of Melanie Omeniho, President of Les Femmes Michif
Otipemisiwak, to life. As the President of LFMO, Melanie has devoted many years to the
uplifting and empowering of Métis Women and has wanted to honor outstanding Métis Women
in a public ceremony for some time. “I am delighted that we are gathering to honor these Métis
Matriarchs on International Women’s Day, joining with Canadian and Métis Nation leaders and
our Grandmothers to recognize and uplift these outstanding women is of great importance to us.
I thank President Lois Mitchell of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society for her partnership in
this event, and for her commitment to reconciliation”, said President Omeniho.
Tonight will also be the unveiling and launch of a new project called “Ready 2 Listen”. Building
on the success of the “She is Indigenous” campaign led by LFMO, they are excited to launch
“Ready 2 Listen” which profiles Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals who
make outstanding contributions to the community, and who enhance our lives. These inspiring
video profiles introduce viewers to Indigenous people making a difference in Canada, and
offering a positive and strength-based multimedia experience for all Canadians to enjoy. For
more information, please visit www.metiswomen.org.
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