Miss Manito Ahbee
2017 Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador
Chante Mikwan Caroline Speidel
from Saptoweyak Cree Nation/Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Hello my friends and relatives. My given name is Chante Speidel and my Lakota name is Red Road of Life Woman. I am from treaty four territory of the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. I am the daughter of Deanna and Donald Speidel.
I am proud to be Cree and Lakota, and have spent my whole life learning the rich culture, customs and traditions of my heritage.
Having the opportunity to represent Manito Ahbee, be an ambassador for youth, and to bring attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls is an honour for me.
I also honour the memory of Lorna Blacksmith and her family members who allowed her story to be shared. Lorna and her family will be in my prayers and on my mind as I dance.
I am very proud to be part of Manito Ahbee.
Hiy hiy Kinanaskomitin
The title of Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador honours the memory of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. Four is a sacred number in the Indigenous culture and tradition, marking the completion of a full cycle. And so it is that every four years an Indigenous woman, who was taken much too soon, is honoured by the Manito Ahbee Festival.
Manito Ahbee has honoured the memory of:
Cherisse Houle (2010 – 2013)
Lorna Blacksmith (2014 – 2017)
PREVIOUS MISS MANITO AHBEE YOUTH AMBASSADORS
2015-2016 – Alexa Gabbard, Moorehead, MN
2014 – Tia Wood, Saddle Lake Cree Nation
2013 – Kenecia Tootoosis, Poundmaker, FN Cree Nation
2012 – Laryn Oakes, Nekaneet FN
2011 – Torry Eaglespeaker, Blood Tribe/Kanai
2010 – Sage Speidel, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation
2009 – Ryanne White, Whitefish Bay FN
2008 – Dakota Speidel, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation
2007 – Carissa Copenace, Rainy River FN
2006 – Shawna Olson, Brokenhead Ojibway FN
BIOGRAPHY OF LORNA BLACKSMITH
Lorna was born on October 10, 1993 and raised in Cross Lake until she was 16 years old. She was raised by her late grandmother, Suzannah Blacksmith, until the age of 9.
At the age of 12 until 16 years of age, Lorna took the opportunity to participate and join the Army Cadet Program in Cross Lake. She developed attributes of leadership, good citizenship, and physical fitness. She attended advanced training at national and regional centers each summer with the Manitoba Army Cadets RCACC #38, Cross Lake. She loved and enjoyed this program as it provided her positive lifestyle habits through structured activities. She represented discipline and dedication to herself, her family and her community. She had dreams to become a nurse or an RCMP member.
Lorna then moved to Winnipeg, MB. At 16 years of age with her mother, Lita Blacksmith. Lorna went missing on January 12, 2012. After numerous searches from her family and community, and participation from the Missing and Murdered Women Group, leads led to the discovery of her body on June 22, 2012.
Lorna Blacksmith, an energetic, bubbly, beautiful young woman, became another statistic in the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada.
In memory of a beautiful spirit that cocooned and turned into a beautiful butterfly only to have her life cut short at a tender age of 18.