A La Ronge man is one of eight Saskatchewan residents who received the province’s prestigious volunteer medal on Tuesday morning.

Dennis Sanderson is being recognized for his tireless efforts to help Aboriginal youth make healthy life choices.

He coaches, helps raise money for local teams and takes kids on youth wilderness trips.

However, perhaps most importantly, he is always there when they need someone to talk to.

“I never expected it,” he says. “I just wanted to help out. Help support the youth in the north and all of a sudden somebody took notice I guess…and here I am.”

Premier Brad Wall says it is people like Sanderson that make Saskatchewan the kind of province it is.

The ceremony took place at Government House in Regina.

Sanderson is one of only156 people to receive a Saskatchewan volunteer medal over the past 18 years.