Assiniboine to recognize community leader Leah LaPlante with honorary diploma

October 26, 2022

BRANDON, Man. (October 25, 2022)- Assiniboine Community College will present community leader and Métis advocate, Leah LaPlante, with an honorary diploma in Community Development at the graduation ceremony in Brandon on Friday.

"Leah has had a notable career and exemplifies the power of change in the community through her role on various boards and committees," said Mark Frison, President at Assiniboine. "We are thrilled to be celebrating her remarkable achievements in front of graduates making a transition into their career, as her influence and leadership for over 25 years demonstrate the positive impact of community involvement."

Leah was born and raised in Manitoba's Turtle Mountain. At a young age, Leah desired to represent the Métis culturally and politically. In 1997, as the Chairperson of the Turtle Mountain local, she pursued her passion and was elected to the Southwest Region Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) board. Leah served as the Vice President of the Southwest Region MMF for over 25 years and has successfully managed the regional office, widely considered the province's most productive and efficient MMF region.

"I was overwhelmed when I received a call from Mark, who informed me that I had been chosen by the Board of Directors to receive an honorary diploma," said LaPlante. "I was humbled by the fact that I was nominated by someone whom I have known and admired for quite some time. As a former student of Assiniboine - Journeyman Cook - this award is appreciated."

In the early 90s, Leah moved to Brandon and continued her Métis representation through her role on various boards and committees. Today, she is an active member of several boards and groups, including Brandon Urban Aboriginal People's Council, Assiniboine Indigenous Advisory Circle, Southwest Daycare Inc., Métis Economic Development Organization, and BU CARES.

"Leah is a transformational leader, and remains motivated and engaged in leading the community to greater understanding and respect for all Indigenous people," said Kris Desjarlais, Director of Indigenous Education at Assiniboine. "She is adored and revered by the people she serves, and I cannot think of someone more deserving of this honour."

LaPlante's honorary diploma adds to the list of notable achievements she's received for her community work, including the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for her lifelong commitment to representing her nation and the Women of Distinction award for her cultural leadership and benevolent community service. More recently, Leah was named a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow for her kindness, intellect, modesty and fortitude.

Assiniboine awards honorary diplomas to individuals who demonstrate high standards of excellence in their personal and professional achievements and whose involvement in the community is widely recognized.



About Assiniboine Community College

Assiniboine Community College has been providing exceptional learning experiences for more than 60 years, offering unparalleled learning environments and responding to the demands and requirements of the Manitoba labour market. Following the philosophy of "learn by doing," programs combine theory with hands- on learning inside classrooms, labs, kitchens, shops, fields and the college's Sustainable Greenhouse.

Assiniboine offers more than 60 certificate, diploma and post-graduate programs across a variety of disciplines including culinary arts and hospitality, business, agriculture and environment, health and human services, and trades and technology. The college also delivers apprenticeship programming in a range of skilled trades disciplines.

The college welcomed more than 3,700 full-time and 6,000 part-time students last year. With campuses in Brandon, Dauphin, Winnipeg and Portage la Prairie, Assiniboine provides comprehensive educational opportunities throughout Manitoba. The college also partners with many communities and organizations across the province to deliver customized education and training. Assiniboine's annual provincial economic impact is $612 million. In the most recent survey of graduates, nine months after graduation, 94 per cent were employed, with 92 per cent remaining in Manitoba.

Assiniboine Community College campuses are located on the traditional territories of Treaty No. 1 and Treaty No. 2, the shared traditional lands of Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene and Anishinabek/Ojibwe peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis. We acknowledge their welcome to the students who seek knowledge here.

For more information, please contact:

Nycolle Adams
Communications Specialist
Assiniboine Community College


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B300-150 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0J7

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