Four northern Saskatchewan students invested into Order of Gabriel Dumont

Four northern Saskatchewan students, Leah McCallum of NSITEP student in La Ronge from Pinehouse Lake; Randon Hermon and Ronald Park of La Loche and Christine (Krissy) Malboeuf, of Ile-a-la Crosse; were among nine student inducted into the Order of Gabriel Dumont for 2023. The four will receive Bronze medals and be invested according to a news release dated May 8.

“The Order of Gabriel Dumont has been awarded since the 1980s, honouring individuals with gold and silver medals for their contributions to the Métis  of Canada,” quoted from the news release.

The Bronze medal was initiated in 2010 to “recognize and honour outstanding GDI students and alumni.”

“The bronze medal awards offer a valuable opportunity to showcase students who go above and beyond, contributing to the overall excellence within the institute,” Lisa Bird-Wilson, GDI’s executive director, is quoted as saying in the news release.

Throughout the intervening years, 54 student and alumni have been awarded the Bronze medal. Medals are awarded annually.

McCallum is a third year NSITEP student, mother of four children. She balances motherhood and student life, while being supportive to her classmates. She “spends a tremendous amount of time perfecting her teaching craft and finding ways to showcase culture.” Of note – McCallum created a Ribbon Skirt bulletin board featuring Cree words. “this beautiful display featured the importance of culture and assisted in teaching her treaty unit to the students in her classroom,” quoted from the news release.

Randon Herman is an Adult Basic Education (ABE) Level Four student at the Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) campus in La Loche, graduating at the end of May.

“Randon has been the author of his success.

“After leaving school as a teenager and spending many years at home, Randon returned to school in September 2022. He quickly showed his aptitude for learning and love of knowledge.” With a goal to complete a computer science degree, Randon enrolled in additional courses to meet the University of Regina’s enrollment requirements.

He finished his first semester with the highest overall marks in the class and has been conditionally accepted to the University of Regina’s Computer Science Degree program.

“His success is an inspiration to his peers, who look to him as a role model.”

An ABE Level Four student at the DTI campus in Loche, Ronalda “is a leader, mother, storyteller and proud Dene woman.”

She can be found welcoming visitors to her home community and is a gifted storyteller often sharing the story of her culture with those around her.

Ronalda maintained close to perfect attendance in her classes “achieving honours marks in all her coursework.”

She plans to enroll in DTI’S Educational Assistant program in La Loche beginning in the fall.

Outside her class work, Ronalda is involved in her community by tending to the community garden, organizing food hampers for community members facing difficulties. She centres her life around her children balancing it with her life as a student. She “demonstrates the internal fortitude to persevere,” quoted from the news release.

Malboeuf is a Level Three ABE student at the DTI campus in Ile-a-la-Crosse.

While she encountered many obstacles during her students days at DTI, she is determined to completer her Grade 12 and has long-term goals to become a culinary entrepreneur. Krissy has been a strong cultural leader within the classroom and community.

She comes to class with a positive mindset and shares her cultural knowledge “expressively” which includes a commitment to learn her Michif language and history. “She gathers local medicines and sweetgrass and has strong ties to her culture” and is constantly seeking opportunities to keep up “her Métis traditions strong.”