Carlton teacher Brown inducted into Women’s Hall of Fame

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Chrissy Halliday, Jennifer Brown and Patricia Leson; 2024 Prince Albert Women's Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer Brown was presented her portrait which will now hang in City Hall following the ceremony on Saturday at the Coronet Hotel.

It was a High Tea to celebrate a remarkable Prince Albert woman on Sunday at the Coronet Hotel.

Carlton teacher Jennifer Brown became the most recent inductee into the Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame. Brown said she was glad to join the remarkable women already inducted since 2004 by the Prince Albert Council of Women.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “It’s an acknowledgement that my parents raised me right. And that’s the best thing that I could ask.”

Past inductees and local dignitaries were in attendance for Brown’s induction. The list included Malcolm Jenkins and Karen Jenkins representing Melba Jenkins, Linda Nosbush, Delphine Melchert, Nicole Rancourt. Dr. Lalita Malholtra, Jeannette Edolls and Irma Brunsdon.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Several past Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame inductees posed with 2024 inductee Jennifer Brown following the ceremony on Saturday at the Coronet Hotel.

Brown and fellow St. Michael’s Parish member Edolls are now both in the Hall of Fame.

“She (Edolls) is a phenomenal lady, (and) it’s kind of overwhelming to be in the same category as somebody like Doctor Malhotra,” Brown said. “I’m a girl from the West Flat. It’s overwhelming.”

Brown was inducted for her work in the Metis community, the arts community and the Catholic Community of Prince Albert.

“It’s definitely unique,” Brown said. “When I was nominated at the Gabriel DuMont Institute for the Gabriel DuMont Bronze Award, it was due to academics. To be acknowledged in not just one category, but overarching for everything that I’ve done, it’s daunting.

“There’s a lot more that I do that nobody mentioned and I don’t do it for recognition. I just do it because it needs to be done. I think the fact that it was all-encompassing is nice because it pays tribute to all aspects of who I am.”

Nominator Janice Henry read the letter she wrote advocating for Brown’s induction. Henry said she witnessed Brown’s growth from a 14-year-old to an adult with a passion for community capacity building. She said Brown is deeply committed to supporting the community.

Henry said that Brown’s family has always been advocates for the West Flat including Parkland Hall.

Brown has worked with the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre and was chairperson of the Metis Youth Advisory Council from 2001 to 2008. Brown graduated with honours from SUNTEP and also has a Master’s Degree from the University of Regina. She is also a past recipient of the Gabriel DuMont Bronze Medal.

“Jennifer’s commitment and dedication to volunteerism has been a lifelong journey,” Henry said.

She volunteers endless hours as chair of the Mann Art Gallery and, St. Michael’s Parish Council member, is a member of the Prince Albert Area Teachers Association (PAATA) and is actively involved with the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary Group.

She also provides art classes in outlying communities for the Metis Nation and is an executive member of the Northern Prairie Indigenous Peoples Collective Incorporated.

“That’s a lot of volunteerism,” Henry said.

Brown is also a well-known artist who has had her work featured in shows across North America and has a large mural located in St. Louis. Her work has also been exhibited in personal collections and at numerous schools in Prince Albert. She also works in Metis beadwork, sewing, writing and illustrations.

“Jennifer has had many achievements that have given her and others joy,” Henry said.

“Jennifer is proud of her roots and more importantly, she is proud to be a citizen of Prince Albert. Her commitment to the People’s Arts Community, academic community and those members of society that are marginalised is apparent by the work she does out there. My friend Jennifer is an authentic, compassionate, dedicated Metis woman in the community and is, and it is my request that you consider her worthy of this award.”

Henry said she nominated Brown not only because she was her friend, but because of the important contributions she made to the community and Saskatchewan.

“Jennifer is well known and continues to be well known throughout the province and from a national scope in terms of the work that she does with her artwork and her art as well as her academic,” Henry said.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Jennifer Brown makes her speech during the 2024 Prince Albert Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday at the Coronet Hotel.

Brown said it was an honour to have Henry advocate for her selection.

“It’s a very nice recognition from Janice to be Prince Albert’s Hall of Famer this year,” Brown said. “She’s always supported me. I’m just grateful she chose this opportunity.”

Her nomination letter was 24 pages of testimonials. Brown said it was humbling to hear she’d touched so many lives.

“They would have had to have done two and a half to three pages each, so to know that I’ve touched people in that way that they would take the time to write such substantial letters, it’s overwhelming,” Brown said. “I’m humbled for the opportunities that it has given me.”

When Brown got the news, she assumed it was someone else with the same name being inducted.

“I thought she had gotten it wrong,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of Jennifer Browns. When I was a little girl there were four other Jennifer Browns in the city of Prince Albert, born in 1980, who all saw the same doctor.

“There was a good likelihood it could have been a mistake, and so I was shocked and overjoyed.”

Brown had just returned from the PAATA Strike Day in Shellbrook when she got the news.

Council President Chrissy Halliday emceed the event. Mayor Greg Dionne brought greetings from the City of Prince Albert and Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross brought greetings from the province.

Speaking on behalf of Brown’s family was niece Olivia Ferchuk, who co-presented that portion with Brown’s friend Father Travis Myrheim.

Colleagues who spoke of Brown’s impact were fellow Carlton teacher Mel Mirasty and Tricia Lucyshyn.

Past President of the Prince Albert Council of Women and National Council of Women, Patricia Leson presented Brown her portrait on behalf of Dionne who had something planned following his greetings.

At the end of the ceremony, 2024’s newest inductee was presented with a framed print entitled Onward and Upward created by Canadian female artist Larisa Sembaliuk that is part of the “Celebrating Women” collection.

Brown’s photo along with a quote of her choosing will now be placed on the wall outside the City Manager’s office in recognition of her lifetime of accomplishments, surrounded by the other hardworking and influential Prince Albert women who have been honoured through the years.