New Brunswick

Elsipogtog youth wins national honours for work on MMIW

Milee Millea, a Grade 4 student at Rexton Elementary School has been named “Difference Maker of the Year" by the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Milee Millea named “Difference Maker of the Year" by the Rick Hansen Foundation

Millea wrote a speech about the Red Dress Campaign, which was set up to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and convinced her school to hold a Red Shirt Day. (Submitted by Tracy Lynds)

An Elsipogtog youth is being recognized for overcoming personal challenges and spreading the word of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Milee Millea, a Grade 4 student at Rexton Elementary School has been named "Difference Maker of the Year" by the Rick Hansen Foundation.

The award goes to students who have faced personal challenges, in Milee's case shyness.

"Milee always had difficulties in school, and she was very shy and, like, soft spoken," said Kateri Levi, Millea's mother.

"Then this year she just came out of her shell, and she's excelling at school, and she's doing really great, and I'm so very proud of her."

Millea wrote a speech about the Red Dress Campaign, which was set up to raise awareness about MMIW and convinced her school to hold a Red Shirt Day.

Addressing important issues

Levi said she's proud of her daughter's accomplishment, not only in overcoming her shyness, but in helping to raise awareness of an issue Levi cares deeply about.

"We're Indigenous, and we're from Elsipogtog and I am passionate about the missing and murdered Indigenous women," said Levi.

"I really want them to have justice. I want our people to be aware of what's happening."

Millea's work has even inspired her mother to do more research into the subject.

Milee Millea is a grade four student at Rexton Elementary School and has been named “Difference Maker of the Year" by the Rick Hansen Foundation. 5:11

Speaking in front of her classmates was a little daunting, but Millea said she didn't have to deal with any butterflies.

"They just flew away."

Millea said she was excited when she heard she had won an award for her work, and believes her enthusiasm for the subject sealed the deal.

"I was interested in it and they liked that I was spreading the word," said Millea.

She will receive a letter from Rick Hansen, a certificate and a $100 gift card for books

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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