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MKO Grand Chief Sheila North received a prestigious award this morning for her work in support of at-risk Indigenous women and girls.

The Professional Champion award is presented to an individual who has worked to enhance the lives of others in ways that include different forms of counselling and psychotherapy to better their mental health and well-being.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) recognized North with the award for her leadership role in supporting Indigenous women and girls who have been neglected, harmed, or murdered by virtue of their gender, status, and race.

"I feel very humbled to be recognized, personally," said North on receiving the award. "I know it wasn't just me doing the work... there are so many girls that are a strong credit to the nation we have who've brought this issue to light, and now it is internationally known, so I feel like it's an award that is deserving of all the Indigenous women and girls, and some men, who took to the streets to talk about this issue."

North also recognized her team at Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO), who are responsible for mobile crisis teams responding to northern emergencies.

John Driscoll, CCPA National President, says the award is to honour the exemplary work being done in the area of mental health, social justice, and combatting racism, criteria he believes Grand Cheif North displays admirably.

Driscoll highlighted North's "courageous support" for missing and murdered Indigenous children in society.

"She is an example for all those who aspire to serve, to lead, and to advocate or people who are treated unjustly, especially women," Driscoll said.