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Famed Sask artist among first to receive prestigious honour

Michael Lonechild was among the inaugural Saskatchewan recipients of the King Charles III Coronation Medal.

REGINA - Renowned White Bear artist Michael Lonechild is among the first in Saskatchewan to receive a prestigious honour.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor announced Monday that Lonechild was among the inaugural Saskatchewan recipients of the King Charles III Coronation Medals, hosted by Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty on May 6 at Government House in Regina. The ceremony occurred on the first anniversary of The King’s coronation.

Twenty-two prominent citizens were awarded medals at this first ceremony, including former premiers and lieutenant governors, environmental conservationists, artists, police officers and members of the military. Lonechild was unable to attend, but the award was presented to him Wednesday morning in Regina. 

In his citation, it was noted Lonechild captures historical and present-day Cree culture in brightly-coloured paintings that are world renowned. Born on the White Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan, he is self-taught, using observation and books to build his craft.

"And what a wonderful craft it is – his works, showcasing his strong appreciation for the way of life of his people on the reservation, are recognized in books, in collections throughout the province, and at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C.," the citation stated.

The King Charles III Coronation Medal is a tangible way to acknowledge significant contributions and achievements of citizens across the country while also honouring The King's service to Canada. In recognition of his coronation, the Government of Canada established the King Charles III Coronation Medal program which will run from May 6, 2024, to March 31, 2025.

The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General will administer the distribution of 30,000 medals on behalf of the federal government.

Additional information regarding the King Charles III Coronation Medal, including an image of the new medal, is available on the governor general's website.