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Three LCSD students mentioned for Indigenous Student Awards

Three Lakeland Catholic students have been recognized for their dedication to learning and sharing their culture in the 2023 year. 

Destry Herald, Patience Badger, and Brooklyn Dion were all nominated for the 2023 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards. The students received honorable mentions for the award that recognizes students for their exemplary leadership, honour, courage, and commitment to their cultures and education paths. 

Brooklyn Dion

Brooklyn is a Grade 5 student from Holy Cross Elementary School nominated by her teacher Madison Mahdiuk and Holy Cross Family Outreach Worker Jaimie Mills. 

In the letter of support, Brooklyn was described as having pride in her culture and participating within her community in various ways. This includes team sports achievements, establishing her education, and forming strong social relationships with both peers and adults. 

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“As a person who forms deep connections with her culture and those around her, I feel Brooklyn has the characteristics that would make her well suited as a recipient of this award,” Mills noted. 

Brooklyn was speechless when she heard about her nomination. 

“It feels great,” she said, adding she is always eager to talk to her classmates about her Cree heritage and culture. 

Mahdiuk described Brooklyn in her letter of support as “a young and powerful female leader in our school community,” directly referencing her confidence in the classroom, her participation in the Buddy Reading Program at the school, and other extracurricular activities including sports. 

“I am so incredibly proud of Brooklyn and her resilience and strength when it comes to a young First Nations female… I have no doubt that Brooklyn will pursue any goal she sets her mind to as she is passionate and committed to herself,” Mahdiuk said.

Patience Badger

Patience is a Grade 6 St. Dominic Elementary School student who was also nominated by a teacher at her school, as well as School Principal Jacqueline Densmore. 

“It is rare to find a student who exhibits such a consistent respectful nature to all. Patience demonstrates respect, kindness, and apathy for all fellow students and every staff member at the school,” Grade 6 Teacher Julie Engman wrote. 

“I feel like everyone has something to contribute and is valued,” Patience said. 

Passionate is being as creative, takes on leadership roles in the classroom, and displays comprehension skills that aid her in understanding, following directions, and explaining instructions to others. 

“I consider myself fortunate to be in a classroom with Patience and appreciate her positive contributions,” Engman wrote. “Although Patience is very humble, I believe she deserves acknowledgment for her good deeds, hard work, and perseverance.” 

In her letter supporting Patience’s nomination, Densmore described her as someone who “connects and embraces strength within her [Cree] culture through singing, art, and attending community Pow Wows with her family.” 

Patience was surprised to learn she was nominated for the accolade and encourages others to share stories about their culture and heritage. 

Destry Herald

Destry is a grade 6 student from Dr. Bernard Brosseau who was nominated by his school Principal Joe Marion, classroom support teacher Dana Chaulk, and LCSD Indigenous Family Outreach Worker Sheyna Badger. 

“Destry takes pride in his heritage and serves as a role model for younger students, regularly mentoring them and sharing his knowledge of Métis history and traditions,” Marion and Badger wrote in the nomination. 

Destry often brings traditional items to share with his classmates and dresses in traditional Métis attire during cultural club events. He said he often helps with cultural clubs and wears his Métis sash with pride as often as he can. 

He said it “feels good” to be recognized through the nomination. 

Chaulk described Destry as a student who is “kind and empathetic towards others,” with a can-do attitude and willingness to seek and give help as needed. 

“Not only does he embrace and share his culture, his way of being is an embodiment of the true Métis spirit.” 

The students will be recognized on June 14, 2023, during a ceremony at the Bonnyville Central Office with a certificate of their honorable mention and a gift from the Board of Trustees.

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