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OTTAWA, October 29, 2002 -- The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the unveiling of a plaque to celebrate the national historic importance of Mademoiselle Onésime Dorval in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan.

“Our history is evolving. Where once only battlefields and politics were chronicled, we now find a desire and need for a much broader and deeper understanding of Canada’s past,” Minister Copps said. “The stories of women like Mademoiselle Dorval must also be told and held in trust for future generations.”

Mlle. Onésime Dorval is being commemorated as a person of national historic significance because her service to the missions of the northwest, and to the Métis and Francophone communities of the prairies in which she lived, laid the ground work for bilingual French and English education in Saskatchewan.

“Intelligent, altruistic, resourceful, hardworking, kind, tactful, dedicated, devoted and motherly, Mlle Onésime Dorval has made a meaningful and lasting contribution to society,” Minister Copps said. “The story of her life is both inspirational and moving.”

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Canadian Heritage about the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada’s history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of the historic value. It is one means of educating the public about the richness of our cultural heritage which must be preserved for future generations.

This initiative connects Canadians to our roots, to our future and to each other.


Sonya-Kim St-Julien
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage
(819) 997-7788

Deanna Litz
Cultural Resource Management
Parks Canada
(306) 975-6805

Backgrounder associated with this News Release.