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Everyone was smiling at the Albrechtsen Research Centre the morning of August 20 when guests and staff convened in the RBC Youth BIOlab to host a special cheque presentation from the Manitoba Metis Heritage Fund, (MMHF) which had raised $75,000 at its annual spring Gala to donate to the educational outreach programming here at St. Boniface Hospital Research.

What no one saw coming was the surprise announcement from Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand, who was so inspired by what he saw, delighted everyone with a spur-of-the-moment decision to make a matching donation of $75,000 from the MMF, bringing the total gift to $150,000 in just a few seconds!

“To think that one day, Métis Students will access this incredible facility and accomplish great things in medical sciences, I knew I had to add to the very generous amount already given by my colleagues at MMHF,” he explained.

“I cannot wait to see aspiring Metis doctors, researchers and other medical professionals come through the doors of the BIOlab, enter their field of choice and then take what they’ve learned back to our communities and People. Then I will know this was money very well spent,” Chartrand added.

“This investment will help support our efforts to nurture Métis Youth in MB to explore health and learning in ways that are meaningful to them, their experiences and their backgrounds. If science has taught me anything, there are always new things to learn, and it’s best when we learn together,” said Stephen Jones, Youth BIOlab Director.

Neil Duboff, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation Board Chair, emphasizes the impact of this generous gift, “We are grateful to be granted a gift that can purposefully and powerfully change the lives of children who love science and will now get to experience discovery first hand in the coveted RBC Youth BIOlab! Thank you MMHF.”

“It’s wonderful to share this moment with our partners from the MMF and SBHF,” added MMHF Chair Denise Thomas.  “I know we all share the dream of seeing more young people enhance their education and pursuing medical sciences. It’s exciting to know that Métis Youth will have access to a quality training facility such as the Youth BIOlab and move toward achieving those goals.”

The Youth BIOlab at St. Boniface Hospital Research is North America’s most unique biomedical teaching lab focused on community outreach to inspire youth towards a love for science and discovery. More than 70,000 students from every corner of the province have participated since the lab opened in 2013.