Thirteen Manitobans officially received the province's highest honour on Monday, including two well-known members of the Métis community.
Lt.-Gov. Philip Lee invested 12 people into the Order of Manitoba in a ceremony Monday afternoon at the legislature.
The ceremony also honoured internationally acclaimed author Miriam Toews, who was appointed to the order in 2011.
Among the latest inductees to the Order of Manitoba was David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Métis Federation, who has spent three decades fighting on behalf of the province's Métis people.
"I see the struggles of my community and I know that by just fighting and moving things ahead, I make a difference," Chartrand told CBC News.
"As long as I can make a difference and continue to do what I do, that's what drives me."
Also honoured was Ray St. Germain, a longtime artist, broadcaster and promoter of Métis and aboriginal culture. He has been affectionately dubbed by many as Winnipeg's "Elvis."
"I started singing Elvis when I was, like, 15 [or] 16 years old and it led to, you know, a few more jobs," he said.
St. Germain and Chartrand joined educators, physicians, artists and a former chief justice as this year's award recipients.
They bring the number of members named to the Order of Manitoba to 184.
"When they read the credits for everyone else who was receiving a medal, I thought, 'Oh my goodness, I'm included with these people? They've done so much!'" St. Germain said.
Chartrand said Monday was a banner day for the Métis people, especially given the appointment of St. Boniface Conservative MP Shelly Glover as the new federal minister of heritage and official languages.
"For the Métis, it's a damn good day for us today!" Chartrand exclaimed.
"For Shelly Glover and myself and Ray St. Germain, you know, how can you ask for more? This is gravy on the french fry, let's put it that way!"
The full list of this year's Order of Manitoba recipients:
- David Chartrand.
- Dr. Francis Patrick Doyle.
- Olga Fuga.
- Helen Granger Young.
- George Nicholos Heshka.
- Dr. Tse Li Luk.
- Diane Redsky.
- H. Sanford (Sandy) Riley.
- Dr. Allan Ronald.
- The Honourable Richard J. Scott, former chief justice of Manitoba.
- Ray St. Germain.
- Miriam Toews (2011 appointee).
- Eleanor Woitowicz.