Our Past, Our Future
This is the first in a series of profiles featuring our beloved Metis Elders who have generously share traditional knowledge and practices with our Nation.
On December 1, 2011, a lifetime achievement celebration was held in honour of Metis Elder Mary Guilbault, who at 81 years old isn’t slowing down one bit. The event was a tribute to her many accomplishments over the years.
Not only is Mary a board member for the Louis Riel Institute, which is an affiliate of the Manitoba Metis Federation responsible for Metis education and culture, she is an Elder with the Aboriginal Board of Education and Vice-Chair and Clan Mother for All Nations Traditional Healing Centre.
Mary, a Fisher River Cree First Nation Band Member, came to Winnipeg in 1950 where she met and wed Ernie Guilbault. They had five daughters who all grew up to be well-educated and employed in various professional fields from education to social work.
Mary and Ernie were instrumental in helping a collection of people form the Manitoba Metis Federation, founding the Urban Indian Association and helping to create the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre. Mary sat on the Board of Directors of the Indian and Metis Friendship centre for many years.
Each year, the Louis Riel Institute awards several students with the “Mary Guilbault Metis Bursary” which is named in her honour for her contributions to Aboriginal education. The bursary is an award available to Manitoba Metis students who excel in their academics and community.
Mary continues to provide guidance to a number Aboriginal youth, men and women. In promoting the traditional and cultural values of the ancestors, she says," For me, the revitalization of my culture and traditional identity many years ago has assisted me with issues that have traumatized me in the past. Understanding the wisdom and spirituality of our ancestors brings many benefits into the everyday lives of our people."
Mary's legacy through her bursary will continue to move Metis youth forward in the province of Manitoba well into the future.
Last Updated (Friday, 10 February 2012 14:25)
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