Medicine honoured with Jubilee medal

Duane Hicks

Being presented with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was the last thing Rainy River First Nations’ elder Dorothy Medicine expected while attending the 42nd-annual Manitou Fish Fry on Friday.
“I was very surprised,” said Medicine after being given the medal by local MP John Rafferty at the Rainy River First Nations’ pow-wow grounds.
A woman of few words, Medicine clearly was honoured by the gesture, smiling as she enjoyed her walleye dinner in the shade that hot afternoon.
Rainy River First Nations Chief Jim Leonard explained the medal was “for people that give themselves to the country.”
“And I can honestly say that any day of the week, if I pick up the phone and phone Dorothy and ask her to come and help, she will be there in five minutes,” he remarked.
“Dorothy never asks for anything; she’s always there, happy, joyful,” added Chief Leonard, noting that after the presentation, Medicine would be serving up plates of food to community elders.
“It’s my distinct honour to be here today, particularly on fish fry day,” said Rafferty, thanking Chief Leonard and the community for their friendship.
“Dorothy is a very special woman,” he added.
Rafferty also read out the message from Gov.-Gen. David Johnston:
“On behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, I am pleased to award you the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s ascension to the throne.
“In granting you this honour, I thank you for your dedicated service to your peers, to your community, and to Canada. The contributions you have made to our nation are most commendable and deserve our praise and admiration.
“I wish to convey to you the heartfelt congratulations of your fellow Canadians, to which I add my own.”
As in past years, the Manitou Fish Fry drew more than 800 people from across Rainy River and Kenora districts, as well as Minnesota, and in the case of Rafferty and local MPP Sarah Campbell, from Ottawa and Toronto, respectively.
People young and old lined up to enjoy more than 250 kg of fried walleye and about 20 kg of smoked sturgeon, as well as fried potatoes, bannock, wild rice, coleslaw, and macaroni salad.
Preparation for the fish fry took at least a week.