The Fort McMurray Catholic School District is naming their newest school after a well-respected Metis Elder.
98-year-old Elsie Yanik will receive the honour of having the school in Parsons Creek in her name. The longtime Fort McMurray resident is known for being a devout Catholic, having performed priest duties in Fort Chipewyan for a stint of 10 years and contributing to the community in numerous ways over the years.
“Elsie Yanik exemplifies what we do at Fort McMurray Catholic schools,” said Board Chair Tracy McKinnon. “[She] represents the best of humanity through her strength, unrivaled commitment, acts of courage, sacrifice and fortitude to many in our community.”
This will be another in a long line of honours for Yanik. She’s previously received honorary degrees from the University of Alberta and Keyano College, been blessed by Pope John Paul II, received a Governor General’s Commemorative Medal, and was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Indspire in 2015. She also served as Fort McMurray’s torchbearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Elsie Yanik Catholic School is set to open in the fall of 2017.