Métis artist and educator from the Prince Albert area has been given a medal for her ongoing work in the community.
Leah Dorion describes her artwork as a celebration of Indigenous women’s strength and resilience. Being the first to win this medal was a true honour for Dorion.
“I am so happy,” she said. “The theme of my award was around the work that I’ve been doing in the arts community, particularly around Métis arts and telling stories that are in the Métis genre of information.”
In early spring, Dorion was recognized with the Jim Brady Memorial Medal of Excellence for 2023. Brady was a well-known Métis leader in the Saskatchewan and was also a veteran and an activist for Métis rights.
“Jim Brady was known for his early work on the ground in his political career, building communities and networking people,” said Dorion. “He gave his whole life to being that voice of connection for our community.”
Although the medal was given to Dorion in early spring, she went public with it on her social media in time for National Indigenous Peoples Day.
“It was a nice time to get that call and that acknowledgment in the spring,” she said. “It was such an honor … we need to keep doing what he started all those years ago and keep the momentum going so that our young people get that inspiration to pick up those things that need to be done at a community level.”
Dorion enjoys mentoring young people in the community and has provided mentorship through Prince Albert’s Mann Art Gallery through her Artist in Residence Programs. She hopes she inspires others to become Métis leaders in their communities.
“I’m not going to build to do the work forever. I need to make sure that I have younger women who are just going to fall into those roles and keep that knowledge going forward to the generations.”
Dorion is also an accomplished author and illustrator for several award-winning children’s books.
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