Métis teen changing the world one act of kindness at a time

Tracie Leost is trying to change the world one act of kindness at a time. Actually many acts at the same time.
In August 2015, then 16-year-old Tracie Léost ran 115 kilometres to raise awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada. Léost began her Journey of Hope in the Lake Manitoba community of Oak Point and completed it at The Forks in downtown Winnipeg. (Supplied)

Tracie Léost is trying to change the world one act of kindness at a time. Well, make that many acts, at the same time.

The 17-year-old Métis teen plays several sports including hockey, ringette and water polo. She also jigs, plays the fiddle, dances pow wow and is active in organizing school events around mental health, cancer care and raising awareness around missing and murdered indigenous women.

On top of all that, she is graduating this June. It's a wonder Léost has any time left to sleep.

"I don't usually, I'm kind of always on the go," she says smiling. "I like to be that person that can do multiple things and rather than have one talent, be talented in a field of many different things. It just opens a lot more doors."

But it's about more than just opening doors for this energetic teen. She wants to make a better world for her fellow students.

After losing two of her schoolmates last year to suicide four days apart and then another five within a year Léost wanted to do something to stop the suicides.

"It was a very, very hard thing for my community to go through. I was close with a lot of people. That knew a lot of these different people."

She joined a group of her school mates across the city to organize Peace of Mind 204, an event where fellow peers performed and shared stories related to emotional struggles.

Since then she says her school, Garden City Collegiate, has implemented weekly events including speakers, therapy dogs and yoga in the morning to ease the pressure students feel over grades, sports, friends, and home life.

"We just want to implement these things in our school just so other students know they're not alone and there is these resources there."

But Léost is far from done. Last year, she ran 115 kilometres to raise money and awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women. She has also cut her long hair twice to donate it to cancer patients, after losing her godmother to ovarian cancer two years ago.

She hopes her many acts of kindness add up to makes things a little easier for others.

"I just want to change the world, really. But when you think about it, I tell people all the time that I am just an ordinary person with extraordinary actions and that's really it."