In 2009 the Prix Margaret-Teresa Award was created in honour of Margaret Teresa McDonell, an early pioneer who, upon her arrival in Saint-Boniface in 1855, provided care to the Francophone and Métis families in the fledgling Red River mission, which were the beginnings of the Saint-Boniface General Hospital. The purpose of the award is to recognize the merits of a professional who demonstrates outstanding commitment in providing high quality French-language health or social services on a daily basis.
Margaret Teresa McDonell was born in 1835 in St. Andrew, Ontario. At sixteen, she entered the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa as Sister Ste. Therese. In the early 1850s, the Grey Nuns of Manitoba needed reinforcements and appealed to the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa. Sister Ste. Therese volunteered and travelled West in search of great challenges. She dedicated all of her human qualities and medical skills to providing health care for Manitobans. “The Métis loved her for her patience, gentleness and kindness. Her qualities earned her the nickname Doctor Sister”. “She stayed in St. Boniface, and was involved in many of the initial works of charity in this province, until her death on November 4, 1917.”
The award is normally presented during the reception preceding the Forum « À votre santé…en français! / To Your Health… in French ». The call for proposals is sent out approximately 10 months before the event.