October 17th, 2017

U of L to honour local educator and activist

By Lethbridge Herald on May 30, 2017.

Dave Mabell
Lethbridge Herald

A local educator and activist will be honoured as the 2017 alumna of the year at the University of Lethbridge.

Jamie Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane, currently a curriculum consultant for First Nations, Metis and Inuit students with Alberta Education, is being recognized for her work in advocating for indigenous rights, women’s rights, human rights and justice.

A Blackfoot woman from the Kainai and Piikani Nations, she began her post-secondary education by earning a diploma in travel and tourism at Lethbridge College. But then she went on to earn a bachelor of business administration degree from Athabasca University, a bachelor of education from the University of Lethbridge and a master of education degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane.

Medicine Crane also found time to become the first aboriginal competitor in the Miss Universe Canada event in 2003, and was also selected as Miss Blackfoot Canada. She founded the Niitsitapi Dreams modelling school to build First Nations girls’ self-esteem and leadership skills, and became a creative force behind Brave Woman Eco-Designs.

In Lethbridge, Medicine Crane has served on the board of the YWCA and on the organization’s national board, as well as being elected to the global YWCA board in Thailand in 2015. Her other advocacy work has included roles with the Idle No More movement and the Sisters in Spirit rallies raising awareness about violence against indigenous women and girls across Canada.

Medicine Crane also performs as part of the Young Medicine duo, which has travelled the world promoting First Nations contemporary and traditional music, dance, teachings and arts. And she has just released a solo flute album, “Honouring Life.”

Her other awards include the Alberta Colleges’ Provincial Award “for creating excellence,” the local YWCA’s “Young Woman of Distinction” award, and an “Outstanding Young Woman Award” from the national YWCA.

Medicine Crane will be presented the Alumna of the Year award by the U of L Alumni Association in the fall.

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