Virden’s Kel Smith was surprised when he received a very special glass apple, the Distinguished Leadership in Education award, presented to him at the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) Annual General Assembly, held in Winnipeg last weekend.
Smith, representing the Westman Local, was among a number of nominees for this award by the southwest region and Leah La Plante, Vice-President of the MMF.
La Plante has known Smith for over 20 years and says, “He’s very active in his MMF Local. He’s such a gentleman, first and foremost.” She also noted his penchant to present information clearly. “He’s still educating us, even though he’s retired.” His continued committed to youth, the cadet program and his service to his community stamp Smith as a leader.
Smith found out his heritage as an adult. “I joined the MMF about 25 years ago, when my mother first told me I was Metis.” As part of Westman Local, one of 135 Locals, he takes part in the monthly meetings in Brandon, joining in the events they hold.
He said he was surprised to be called to receive this award. “I’m just an ordinary, retired teacher.”