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GDI Receives President’s Recognition Award

By Lisa Bird-Wilson

Apr 3, 2020

Posted in: ,

The Gabriel Dumont Institute received the President’s Recognition Award from the Métis National Council (MNC) for 40 years of providing services to Métis Nation citizens in Saskatchewan as well as the rest of the Métis Nation Homeland and the world through its successful education, training, curriculum development, publishing, and cultural initiatives. The President’s Recognition Award was presented by the President of the MNC, Clément Chartier in a ceremony at the Bessborough Hotel in Saskatoon in March.


As GDI celebrates its 40th anniversary, we reflect on the Institute’s beginnings. Forty years ago, the founders of the Institute built a strong and beautiful vision for Métis education—one that we continue to celebrate today. They built the Institute with a dream to educate and train Métis leaders for the future, to build our capacity for self-government. Over the years, at least eleven thousand Saskatchewan Métis have graduated or been funded through GDI in a wide variety of programs, including Bachelor of Education, education administration, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship, practical nursing, and graduate studies, to name just a few.


The structure and the foundation laid down for us by the Institute’s founders provide both security and stability to the Institute. We have continued to build on that strong foundation to create opportunities for Métis students. The Institute delivers programs in more than 15 locations across Saskatchewan and has awarded over $4.2 million in scholarships to Métis students to date.


We are an employer of choice for Métis professionals across Saskatchewan. We have a workforce of over 210 people whose employment at the Institute supports their families and helps build strong communities. Almost one out of every four (23%) of our employees has been with the Institute for more than 10 years. I think what this boils down to is that people stay where they feel they belong. The number of Institute employees has been increasing by an average of about five percent annually over the past five years, and over the past year, our HR department received 976 job applications from those who would like to work for us.


Métis families in Saskatchewan are better off as a result of GDI. The province, and the country, are better off because of GDI.


GDI has proven itself as a leader in Métis education. Our Métis-specific resources are sought nationally and internationally and our graduates go on to do great things, not only here at home, but around the world. Our gallery, museum, and special collections showcase Métis culture and heritage at its finest. Our virtual museum is second to none.


In the seventies, as the Institute was being negotiated and fought for, it was leader and the Association of Métis and Non-Status Indians of Saskatchewan (AMNSIS) President, Jim Sinclair, who carried the vision for GDI. The Institute owes a debt of gratitude to Jim, as a founder, and to all the Métis people at the time who fought for Métis rights—to the Métis people who blocked roads, attended protests, demonstrated, and occupied the lawn at the Leg, and to the leaders who relentlessly lobbied the government, occupied buildings and government offices, and got the door opened to start the negotiations for the Institute. They stood up for us and they refused to take “no” for an answer. The President’s Recognition Award is for the many people who have had a hand in building GDI. Please congratulate yourselves for this award and on behalf of those who helped make the founders’ dream a reality. Way to go, GDI.

Geordy McCaffrey, GDI Executive Director, receives The President’s Recognition Award on behalf of the Institute from the Métis National Council President Clément Chartier (Photo courtesy of MNC)


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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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