Maria Campbell honoured at her home in Gabriel’s Crossing

Photos by Marcel Petit 

At The University of Winnipeg’s 113th convocation in June, an honorary degree — UWinnipeg’s highest distinction — was awarded to Maria Campbell in absentia, as she was unable to travel to Winnipeg for the event.

Approximately six weeks later, a delegation led by Dr. Annette Trimbee, UWinnipeg’s President and Vice-Chancellor, traveled to Campbell’s home at Gabriel’s Crossing in Saskatchewan to personally present her Honorary Doctor of Letters.

The unique event provided a special opportunity to pay tribute to Maria Campbell, share stories, and celebrate together on the land.

Sarah Delaronde, a recent UWinnipeg graduate who was in attendance, said: “For me, it was special because I have never really identified as Métis, only as Indigenous. This ceremony really opened my eyes and allowed me to take pride in my bloodlines once again. I was also able to bring my daughter Shayne and showed her where her relatives once fought for their right to be recognized. When I read Maria Campbell’s book, I couldn’t help but feel like her story is also part of the story of my grandparents. She possesses the fierce qualities that I recognized in my grandparents and that are carried through to their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. I was really looking forward to seeing her at my convocation but this was so much better, to see her surrounded by so much love. To honour Maria in this way reiterated the fact that if you work hard, stay humble, love and honour your family but also love and honour yourself first… Creator will clear the way.”

About Maria Campbell
Maria Campbell is a Métis author, playwright, teacher, Elder and community worker who is a lifelong advocate and contributor to Indigenous and Canadian letters, arts, and politics. In 2008-09, she spent four months at UWinnipeg as the Carol Shields Writer in Residence, where she devoted an extraordinary amount of quality time giving numerous workshops, readings, and talks. Read more.

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