Shahina Siddiqui, Michael Redhead Champagne named humanitarians of the year

Two well-known Winnipeg activists, Shahina Siddiqui and Michael Redhead Champagne, are being honoured with the prestigious Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year awards.
Michael Redhead Champagne (left) of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and Shahina Siddiqui of the Islamic Social Services Association have been named Red Cross humanitarians of the year. (@northendmc/Twitter/CBC)

Two well-known Winnipeg activists, Shahina Siddiqui and Michael Redhead Champagne, are being honoured with the prestigious Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year awards.

Siddiqui, founder and executive director of the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social Services Association, is being recognized as the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year.

Michael Redhead Champagne, also known as North End MC, is the founder and organizer of Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO!) and this year's Young Humanitarian of the Year.

The awards will be presented Sept. 8 at the Canadian Red Cross Power of Humanity Luncheon.

"Both Shahina and Michael have given tirelessly of themselves to bring together people in their respective cultures in a positive manner," said Shawn Feely, vice-president for the Canadian Red Cross in Manitoba.

"They have also both dedicated themselves to bridging cultural differences and connecting people of various backgrounds to work for the common good. They have both shown the power of humanity through their volunteer work and deserve to be recognized."

Siddiqui and ISSA have been dedicated to ensuring new Canadians, especially recent refugees from Syria, have the necessary support to build a new life in Manitoba, states a news release from the Red Cross.

"Her humanitarian efforts have not only benefited refugees but the whole community, as she works to promote tolerance and understanding among people of different cultures and faiths … as well as raising awareness about Islamic people in Manitoba," the news release says.

Champagne has spent countless hours of volunteer work on projects such as the weekly Meet Me at the Bell Tower anti-violence rallies in the city's North End, dedicating himself to positively helping and uniting people of various backgrounds, states the news release.

"Shahina and Michael's success proves that any effort at helping people is time well spent, and that one person's dedication can improve the lives of many," said John Stinson, CEO of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, which sponsors the awards.