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Métis hockey stars among Queen Platinum Jubilee medal recipients

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan citizens honoured with Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medals.

SASKATOON — Former National Hockey League players and brothers Dwayne and Dwight King joined 23 other Métis Nation-Saskatchewan citizens who received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal on Monday, Feb. 27, at the Top of the Inn Sheraton Cavalier Hotel. 

This was the first of three scheduled ceremonies organized by MN-S. Two separate ceremonies will also occur on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the EA Rawlinson Centre in Prince Albert and on Wednesday, March 1, at the Government House in Regina. 

Dwayne, or DJ, had a nine-year playing career with the St. Louis Blues and the Washington Capitals in the NHL before retiring due to various injuries, while Dwight, who is five years younger, is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings. 

Both were honoured and felt privileged to be part of those recognized by their Nation, which was made possible through the cooperation of MN-S with the office of Saskatchewan Lt. Gov. Russell Mirasty. 

“It is nice to receive it [the medal] and see the direction of our [MN-S] government is going. Being part of other Métis citizens recognized for their achievements and contributions is an honour. You always work hard to achieve what you have now,” said Dwight, who also played for the Montreal Canadiens. 

DJ added that sharing the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal with his younger brother made it more special as both former NHL players were recognized for their achievements in sports and how their careers inspired a younger generation of athletes. 

“It is a unique award. It is cool to have this medal. It is just another example of working hard, achieving something and becoming a role model to kids. It is a badge of honour that you can talk to kids with, so they get inspired to strive to be better,” said DJ, who co-owns Tawaw Cabins in Waterhen Lake. 

MN-S President Glenn McCallum said Mirasty provided the Queen Elizabeth medals with recipients from various fields — veterans, education, volunteers, sports, culture, arts, business, agriculture and healthcare — chosen by a committee. 

“I see former NHL players, health workers, educators, leaders, elders and veterans in this room. I am proud to stand before you as your president across the province. There have been a lot of great achievements that our people have made. They succeeded in whatever they do through their commitment,” said McCallum. 

He added that the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal presentation was made possible by MN-S staff who organized all three ceremonies in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert and the help provided by various Métis leaders in the selection process. 

“We have a good working relationship with Lt. Gov. Mirasty and the provincial government. We have a good team, a great staff; as you can see, they are organizing even [the Back to] Batoche. They are making things happen and organizing it well,” said McCallum. 

“We have connections through our elders — north, central and south — we have our area directors, regions representatives across Saskatchewan and many local presidents. Some recommended names to the committee.”

Delmer Anderson, Allen Augier, Michael Bell, Barbara Card, Angela Caron, Barry Falcon, Curtis Fiss, Norman Fleury, Victor Guillet, Penny Hurton, Jacqueline Kennedy, Percy Kenny, Glenn LaFleur, Verna McCallum, Adam McInnes, Ernest McPherson, Robert Merasty, Mike Natomagan, Chance Parenteau, Louise Pederson, Richard Pilon, Melanie Pritchett and Becky Trotchie were the other recipients.

Elder Norman Fleury failed to attend the event with his medal received by his daughter Chantelle and son Mark.