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Elsie Yanik was from Fort Chipewyan and dedicated her life to her church and community. She was ordained a Roman Catholic lay minister to serve the community when Fort Chipewyan had no priest, and also served her local CWL council as Spiritual Advisor.  The Elsie Yanik Award was initiated in 1997 to commemorate the leadership and ministry/service of Elsie Yanik to the Catholic community in the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. 

This award is a top honour from the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council of the CWL and is presented to a member of Alberta Mackenzie who has shown leadership and ministry/service in an area or areas of need in a parish or community.  A nomination form must be completed and forwarded to the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial President Elect, who will present the nominations to the Provincial Council Awards Committee.  Nominations must be submitted by December 31st of each year, and can be found on our Provincial website at cwl.ab.ca.


  1. This award shall be presented annually, if applicable, at the discretion of members of the Alberta Mackenzie Provincial Council Awards Committee, which consists of the President, President-Elect, Spiritual Development Chairperson, and Spiritual Advisor.
  2. The recipient shall be a CWL member living in Alberta Mackenzie.
  3. This honorary award shall consist of an individual plaque presented to the recipient; and a permanent plaque, which is inscribed with the names of all recipients. The permanent plaque shall be kept with the recipient’s council for display purposes until the following provincial convention.
  4. Nomination of a member must be submitted by a Parish or Diocesan Council.
  5. Deadline for submissions shall be December 31 of each year.
  6. The Committee shall notify the recipient by February 15.
  7. The recipient shall have her transportation, registration, room, and meals paid to attend the annual provincial convention to receive the award.

Criteria for Eligibility
The nominee must:

  1. be a League member in good standing (has paid her membership fee in the current year);
  2. portray a leadership role;
  3. have demonstrated a commitment to ministry/service in an area or areas of need in a parish or community.

 Recipients in the Diocese of Calgary include:

  • Gabrielle Simpson 2019
  • Renee Spohn 2018