We are pleased to announce Melanie MacKinnon is the 2021 Frontier Achievement Award recipient—an award that recognizes former Frontier students for demonstrating commitment and excellence in their career and community.
Melanie, a member of the Misipawistik Cree Nation, attended Mel Johnson School in Wabowden and graduated through the Home Placement Program from Grant Park High School.
She graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1996 with a Bachelor of Nursing degree and began her career in northern Manitoba as an advanced practice nurse in nursing stations in a variety of First Nations communities. She took on administrative duties as Nurse in Charge of nursing stations and then as Zone Nursing Officer. She is currently the Executive Director for Ongomiizwin Clinical services at the University of Manitoba. In this role, she is responsible for the recruitment and retention of physicians for northern Manitoba nursing stations and hospitals. She is also responsible for the nurse-run programs in diabetes retinal screening and foot care in First Nations communities.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Melanie has taken an additional role in establishing the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response team with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She and her colleagues mobilize rapid response teams to communities with outbreaks.
She is past president of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Manitoba, past director on the Board for Palliative Manitoba and past director on the Board for Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre.
Melanie is a proud Indigenous woman who follows traditional teachings of the elders and her ancestors. Her work and life experience make her very deserving of the Frontier Achievement Award. Congratulations, Melanie!