Leah LaPlante
Vice-President- Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. Southwest Region

Leah was born and raised in a small Métis community in the Turtle Mountains. She attended elementary school in the community and then graduated from high school in Deloraine. She moved to Alberta where she married and started her family. In 1981 she returned to her home community with her husband and three daughters. They bought a home and completed the family with a fourth daughter. She became active in the MMF Local and became the Chairperson in 1989. It was then that she started researching her Métis roots and discovered the rich history in her community. During this time she attended ACC night classes and received her Red Seal as a Journeyman Cook in 1992.

During these years she was active on school committees and busy in the community. She started becoming interested in the political aspect of the MMF and in 1997 she entered the race for Vice-President of the SW Region and won. She is in her seventh term and is still committed to the people she represents and to the larger community she lives in.

Leah has a passion for promoting and preserving Métis culture and heritage. She was part of the Canadian Conservation Institute Preserving Heritage: Technical and Traditional Approaches Symposium in 2007. In 2001, she worked with the National Museum of Scotland on an exhibition called Kildonan to Red River which included the Métis story. Later she worked with BBC on a documentary called Highland Empire which captured the Scottish fur-trade story.

Boards:

  • MMF Vice-President 1997-present
  • Southwest Daycare Inc. Board Chair 1997-present
  • Southwest Regional Métis Center -Administrator 1997-present
  • Louis Riel Institute- Board Chair 2003-2012
  • Louis Riel Capital Corporation-Board member 1995-present (Chair)
  • CNIB -Board member 2001-2003
  • Art Gallery of SW Manitoba - Board 2004-2010
  • Metis Economic Development Organization 2012-present
  • Brandon University Foundation 2011-present

Committees:

  • Brandon Urban Aboriginal People's Council-Chair
  • Turtle Mountain Souris Plains Heritage Committee
  • Canadian Conservation Institute
  • BU Cares

MMF Portfolios:

  • Minister of Constitution 2000-2003
  • Minister of Education 2003-2012
  • Standing Tall Program (Education) 2003-2012
  • Minister of Economic Development 2012-2018
  • Minister of Citizenship 2018-present
  • Minister of Natural Resources 2018-present

Awards:

  • C. Irwin McIntosh Memorial Award 2007
  • Brandon Woman of Distinction Award 2009
  • Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal 2012
  • Ka NI Kanichihk -Keeping The Fires Burning Award 2012

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