Apr 20, 2022
A special awards Gala was held at TCU Place in Saskatoon on the evening of March 25th to honor the 2022 Order of Gabriel Dumont Gold and Silver Medal recipients. The three honored at this gala were Doris McDougall and Geordy McCaffrey as gold inductees; and George Fayant as a Silver inductee.
Opening the awards gala, Senator Nora Cummings acknowledged the recipients and welcomed all attendees with a prayer. The gala was emceed by Donny Parenteau and featured entertainment by talented musicians John Arcand, Cathy Sproule, and Jordan Daniels. Family and friends gathered along with many members of the Métis community and Institute staff to celebrate the achievements of each inductee.
In opening remarks, Lisa Bird-Wilson, GDI Executive Director, explained, “The awards come from the desire to acknowledge selfless individuals for their dedication, commitment, outstanding contributions, and achievements. The awards are important not just because they celebrate outstanding achievement, but also because they remind us of the possibility for each person to reach their full potential.”
The Order of Gabriel Dumont awards, which began in the 1980s to honor outstanding service to the Métis of Canada, has invested 86 individuals to date. Investment into the Order is one of the Métis Nation’s highest civilian honors.
The Order of Gabriel Dumont Gold Medal recognizes lifetime of outstanding service to the Métis of Canada and the Order of Gabriel Dumont Silver Medal honours those who have made significant contributions to the Métis.
Each inductee accepted their award and thanked GDI and the Métis community.
Doris McDougall, gold medal recipient, grew up in the Lepine Flats region and was an educator for 33 years, spending many years teaching Michif and Métis culture in northern communities. Now retired, Doris plays a huge role in her small community of St. Louis, volunteering at the senior center and local parish. “Being invested into the Order is a humbling experience,” said Doris. She follows in the footsteps of her father, Medric McDougall, who was among one of the first recipients of the Order in the 1980s.
Geordy McCaffrey, gold medal recipient, graduated from Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education (SUNTEP) Saskatoon in 1993 and joined the GDI staff shortly after. Geordy’s career at GDI extended over 27 years, and in that time, he made a significant mark on Métis education and heritage in the province. “It’s an honor and privilege to receive this award. This award is from your community that’s why there is a sense of pride in receiving this from GDI, a place that I know and love,” Said Geordy.
George Fayant, silver medal recipient, is well-known across the province for his teachings on Red River Carts. Since 1998, George has been building Red River carts. Over the years, his work has expanded to include workshops on their history, showcasing the ingenuity and celebrating the resilience of the Métis. During his acceptance of the award, George explains how honored he was to create the Red River Cart for the new addition of the Gabriel Dumont Institute building and how it was one of the largest he has ever built.