There are 1.27 million people living in Manitoba. In the past ten years 221 have been chosen to receive the Order of Manitoba. On May 12, 2016, Wanbdi Wakita became one of them.
“While the individual accomplishments of the women and men recommended this year for investiture are wide ranging, they share a common spirit of giving and commitment to community for which Manitobans are known,” said the Honourable Janice Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. “Whether their impact is felt at the local, national or international levels, they are each a credit to our province and our country.”
Wanbdi Wakita is a Dakota spiritual leader who has devoted his life to teaching and healing and continues to share his culture with anyone who asks for help. He has worked tirelessly to support the healing of individuals, communities and the relationship between First Nations and non-First Nations people.
A residential school survivor and a veteran with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry peacekeeping mission in Europe, more recently he has spent more than 30 years working as an Aboriginal Spiritual Caregiver in federal, provincial and territorial prisons.
When he was Chief of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, he developed a culturally unique senior citizens’ home. He also established two medical boarding homes to house Indigenous clients from northern communities visiting Winnipeg for medical care. He continues to share his culture with anyone who asks for help and is a strong advocate for the preservation of the Dakota language.