His Honour, Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty, a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB), presented the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medals to 19 people in La Ronge on Sunday, Oct. 2 at a gathering at Eagle Point Resort.
Gary Tinker, who, at 22, walked, on crutches, between La Ronge and Regina in 1989 to raise awareness about the particular challenges for people living with disabilities in the north. Later that year he opened the Gary Tinker Federation for the Disabled Inc. in La Ronge, which continues to offer supports to people living with disabilities in Saskatchewan’s north.
Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte, Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council and a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB).
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB); and Chief Karen Bird, of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN).
Tom Roberts and Terri McIntyre-Roberts, for their support of Residential School survivors over the years.
Josephine (Josie) Searson, from Cumberland House, an Elder and Métis Senator with Métis Nation-Saskatchewan.
Jason Young, education director for Northern Lights School Division (NLSD) for education.
Scott Boyes has led the Cadet program in La Ronge for several years.
Gil Gracie, who offered much leadership and support to the Canadian Challenge Dog Sled Race, held annually in the north, over several years.
Several members of the Canadian Rangers received medals. They are: Jim Searson, James (Kelly) Gale, Jimmy Charles, Leon Charles, Murray Galambos, Marc L’Heureux, Paul Plunz and Samantha Plunz.
Mirasty spoke briefly about the Medal, created to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s 70years of service.
She became Queen at 25 on Feb. 6, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI, and “gave her life” to service until her death, at 96, on Sept. 8, 2022.
He noted that Medals to honour ordinary people for their contributions to their communities have been created to mark significant occasions, such as Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, since the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
But, His Honour said, this Medal may be the most significant because of the Queen’s death on Sept. 8. He spoke of her commitment and dedication to the service of her people over 70 years.
He also noted Queen Elizabeth’s last action was to send a message of concern and condolence to the people of James Smith Cree Nation at the time of the tragedy they experienced.
The presentation ceremony ended with a reception for the honourees and their guests.
NSSA awards at CCHS
His Honour and the Honourable Donna Merasty also were at Churchill Community High School in La Ronge on Wednesday, Oct. 5 to present the Northern Saskatchewan Student Achievement awards.
The awards went to: Ava Johnson for 2019-2020; Sydnee McKay for 2020-2021; Matayah Small for 2020-2021; and Natalie Lafaver for 2021-2022.
The NSSA awards went to; Grade 7 – Ava Gardiner, Idabelle Liorente Roque and Landon Charles. Grade 8 – Leito Morin, Maggie Herel, and Jayda Hancheroff. Grade 9 – Brian MacDonald, Orisis Pelismino, Cassidy Wallace, and Tyrus Charles. Grade 10 – Geanne Roberts, Hunter Patterson, and Aster Beaudin. Grade 11 – Averill Buffalo-Brooks, Reay Mackay, and Mila Kuppenbender. Grade 12 – Isabel Groves and Keian Banach.
Mirasty spoke about the importance of education. He reflected on being a small boy growing up on Morin’s Hill, his experience as a student at CCHS, living in many different parts of Canada during his career in the RCMP and where life has taken him to the highest office in the Province of Saskatchewan.