Métis woman in Manitoba featured by Olympics for living ‘By Her Rules’

A new series from the Olympic Channel features the stories of five women from around the world who use sport to impact positive change including a Metis woman in Manitoba who is at the forefront of this new series.

Tracie Léost is a Metis woman from St. Laurent, Man., and is one of five women around the world featured in the new series By Her Rules.

Sport has always been a big part of Léost’s life and as she moves on from playing, she now coaches the next generation and is passing on the same value she learned.

“I think just larger than being active and my health and wellbeing has always been really essential and a really big part of who I am. It’s always been an essential outlet for me and kind of built my character as a person,” Léost said to APTN News.

“And I’m really kind of humbled that I now have the opportunity to kind of bring all those tools and things that I’ve learned that have really built my character and then kind of turn it around and get to share it with young people.”

Léost is the only woman featured in North America. The other four are located in the Philippines, Pakistan, France and Kenya.

The show aims to highlight women making a positive impact on people’s lives through sport, including themselves.

In 2014, Léost won three bronze medals at the North American Indigenous Games in Regina.

In 2015, when she was just 16 years old, and after learning more about MMIWG victims, Léost completed a four-day 115 km run to raise awareness.

In the end, she ended up raising over $6,000 for the Families First Foundation.

Léost was also the recipient of the 2018 Indspire Youth Métis award as well as being a 2020 Gabriel Dumont inductee, the highest honour for a Métis civilian.

Now, she’s launched a not for profit organization called Waanishka, which means get up and rise in Michif.

The goal of which is to support other Indigenous youth who are looking to reclaim their heritage, share their stories and empower one another to make positive change.

“People use the term activist or advocate, I see myself first and foremost as a community member and I love to be really active in my community and that has kind of taken on a role of advocacy while being present in the community and being a person that our young people can look up to while also redefining kind of what it is that society can expect of Indigenous young people and kind of redefine those stereotypes they always set for us,” she said.

Nicolas Delloye is the executive producer of By Her Rules and explained the goal of the series.

“Each of those characters in their ground, they’re like touching the limit of what other people are thinking they are supposed to be able to do. By that they are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for other people, not only women, in their world, in their country, in their community,” he said from his home in Madrid, Spain.

“So that was really the will to give back and shine a light on this women.”

Delloye added the series is not so much about teaching life lessons, but rather give those watching someone they can look up to.

“I think we want them to feel close to the character, to feel the empathy of their life and to almost feel like they could be someone that they want to talk to, that they could talk to,” he said.

“And it’s not about lessons, life lessons or anything like that it’s just trying to make content that is true to the people we are interviewing so that they feel true to the people that are watching the piece.”

Léost has recently moved back to Winnipeg after completing her bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Regina.

Despite all of her awards and initiatives, she just wants people to know that youth and community hold all the power.

“I hope the takeaway is that the world to know the power that’s in my community and also among our youth. That is kind of what I hope people can see, is the power in good things that are happening and all that they’re capable of,” she said.

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