All recipients of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards.
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The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is delighted to announce that the MNO Women’s Council (MNOWC) has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership. A formal awards ceremony and reception was held at the Legislative Building in Queen’s Park on Feb. 20.

Each year, the Ontario Heritage Trust selects and highlights the exceptional contributions of community members and organizations, with categories ranging from Youth Achievement to Excellence in Conservation. This year, the prestigious award for Community Leadership was granted in recognition of the MNOWC and the Métis Women’s Leadership Gathering, which took place April 5-8, 2019 in Collingwood, ON.

Held in the scenic hills of Collingwood’s Blue Mountain, the Métis Women’s Leadership Gathering was significant as it was the largest gathering of Ontario Métis women in history. More than fifty Métis sisters met for three days of seminars, creative workshops, relationship-building, and celebrations of Métis culture.

“The Council has been working tirelessly to enhance the rights of Métis women so they can fulfill their potential in all aspects of their lives,” states MNO President Margaret Froh, who endorsed the Council’s nomination for the award. “As the MNO continues to move forward our mandate of advancing Métis rights and self-government, ensuring that Métis women are meaningfully engaged as leaders in our communities is crucial for the health and well-being of our future generations.”

A key aspect of the Métis Women’s Leadership Gathering was to strengthen the leadership of Métis women in the MNO, while aligning with the values and mission statement maintained by the MNOWC—primarily promoting women’s issues, advocating on behalf of Métis women, and ensuring its sisters and citizens feel empowered and supported, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“The Council has long strived to raise the profile of Métis women and ensure they have a voice,” stated Sharon Cadeau, President of the MNOWC. “We wanted every woman at the event to feel like they could participate in meaningful discussions and dialogue. It was the enthusiasm and generosity of the women that made the event such a success. The community gave from their heart.”

Since its inception, the MNOWC has worked within the MNO for the betterment of the Métis community as a whole through the empowerment and participation of Métis women in Ontario. Receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award serves as affirmation and recognition of the MNOWC’s continued, dedicated efforts to serve Métis families and communities each and every day.

“This award is so well deserved,” said Cadeau. “The evolution of the MNOWC since its early days has been such a journey. Today there is truly so much enthusiasm going towards the women, so to have this award from an external body and be honoured for our women, our work and our accomplishments is really incredible. Hearing of their nomination for this award brought tears to my eyes. They really deserve it.”

The MNO extends its congratulations to the MNOWC for this momentous achievement. For more on the MNO Women’s Council, see the website /governance/governing-structure/mno-womens-council/