Donate Now Menu

Indspire announces 2023 Indspire Awards recipients and 30th Anniversary celebration

Watch the Indspire Awards on APTN, APTN lumi, CBC TV and CBC Gem on Sunday, June 18 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)

The ceremony can also be heard on CBC Radio One and the CBC Listen App at 8 p.m. (9 AT, 9:30 NT)

May 10, 2023 – Ohsweken, ON – Today, Indspire announced the recipients of the 2023 Indspire Awards. Twelve outstanding Indigenous achievers from a diverse list of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities will be honoured during a celebratory gala entitled Honouring Indigenous Excellence on Thursday, May 11, 2023 in Edmonton, AB. Their accomplishments will also be celebrated during a special broadcast on Sunday, June 18th at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on APTN, APTN lumi, CBC TV and CBC Gem, and heard on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen at 8 p.m. (9 AT, 9:30 NT).

The Indspire Awards reach a significant milestone this year as 2023 marks 30 years of honouring First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement across Turtle Island and beyond. To commemorate this special anniversary, this year’s gala event will include an evening reception, dinner, and post-reception where stories and accomplishments of Laureates present and past will be shared with guests.

The Indspire Awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people, recognizing Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement on a national level in a variety of fields, including: the arts; business & commerce; culture, heritage & spirituality; education; health; law & justice; public service; sports; and lifetime achievement. Three Youth Award winners are also being honoured for their accomplishments, serving as role models to other First Nations, Inuit, and Métis youth in their communities and across Canada.

Indspire is delighted to announce that the recipients of the 2023 Indspire Awards are:

Youth Recipient
Reanna Merasty
Barren Lands First Nation, MB

Youth Recipient
Willow Allen
Inuvik, NT

Youth Recipient
Ruby Bruce
Manitoba Métis Federation, MB

Sandra Laronde
Temagami First Nation, ON

Business & Commerce
Kylik Kisoun Taylor
Inuvik, NT

Culture, Heritage, & Spirituality
Jennine Krauchi
Manitoba Métis Federation, MB

Lori Campbell
Montreal Lake Cree Nation, SK

Dr. Christopher Mushquash
Pays Plat First Nation, ON

Law & Justice
Madame Justice Ardith Wal’petko We’dalx Walkem
Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, Nlaka’pamux Nation, BC

Public Service
Shirley Cuillierrier
Member of Kahnesatake Mohawk Nation, QC.

Joe Dion Buffalo
Samson Cree Nation, AB

Lifetime Achievement
Albert D. Marshall
Eskasoni First Nation, NS

For more information about each of the recipients, please visit https://indspire.ca/events/indspire-awards/laureates/ 

“We have many reasons to celebrate during this year’s Indspire Awards ceremony,” said President & CEO Mike DeGagné. “The 30th Anniversary is a meaningful opportunity to honour this year’s Laureates along with the 406 Indigenous leaders who have received Awards in the past; it also stands as a testament to the friends, family, loved ones and co-workers who have assisted them in their important work. We are pleased and proud to recognize the contributions made by so many people, creating generations of Indigenous achievement coast to coast to coast.”

“APTN is thrilled to celebrate three decades of Indspire’s important work with the 30th anniversary broadcast of the Indspire Awards,” said APTN CEO Monika Ille. “Each year, the Indspire Awards give us a new opportunity to show our gratitude to the Indigenous leaders who are at the forefront of positive change in their communities. These changemakers remind us that we have the responsibility to grow, to do right by our communities and to become the authors of our own stories.”

“As the Awards mark their 30th anniversary, we’re honoured to celebrate this important milestone with our partners at Indspire and APTN, recognizing three decades of Indigenous leadership,” said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President, CBC. “On June 18, we look forward to sharing the impressive accomplishments of this year’s Laureates with audiences across the country, shining a spotlight on the positive impacts they’ve made in their communities and far beyond.”

Once again, each recipient will be presented with a beautiful gold pin featuring a Canadian diamond unearthed from the Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories and supplied by Rio Tinto.

Indspire gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors and partners:

Lead Partner: Government of Canada
30th Anniversary Celebration Sponsor: Cenovus Energy
Broadcast Partners: CBC and APTN
Major Sponsors: Suncor Energy Inc. and Shell Canada Ltd.
Regional Host Sponsor: Keyera
Youth Laureate Sponsor: Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust
Founding Partner and Official Airline: Air Canada
Dinner Sponsor: Teck
30th Anniversary Laureate Reception Sponsor: Dixon Mitchell Investment Counsel
Pre-Dinner Reception Sponsor: Ernst & Young
Participating Sponsors: Capital Power and Syncrude
Culinary Sponsor: Imperial
Supporting Sponsors: Bouchier, Certarus, Deloitte, Ontario Power Generation, Rio Tinto, and Scotiabank
Programme Sponsor: Mawer
In-Kind Media Sponsor: Kijiji

The awards ceremony will be broadcast during National Indigenous History Month on APTN, APTN lumi, CBC TV and CBC Gem on Sunday, June 18th at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), and heard on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen at 8 p.m. (9 AT, 9:30 NT).

About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. In 2021-22, Indspire provided more than $23 million through 6,612 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada.

About CBC/Radio-Canada

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi and Tagalog, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.

About APTN

APTN launched in 1999 as the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit and charitable broadcaster, it’s the only one of its kind in North America. The network is Sharing Our Stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages to over 10 million Canadian subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audiences through genuine, inspiring and engaging entertainment on multiple platforms.


For media interviews, photos of recipients and more information, please contact:

Brandon Meawasige
Director, Communications and Marketing
(647) 925-0611

Tanya Koivusalo
(647) 649-6067