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Inspire announces recipients of the 2019 Indspire Awards

National Recognition for Role Models from Local Communities

Ohsweken, ON – September 25, 2018

Indspire, the national Indigenous charity that supports and celebrates Indigenous education and achievement in Canada, today announced the 12 outstanding First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals who will be honoured with the 2019 Indspire Awards. The Indspire Awards represent the highest honour that the Indigenous community bestows on its own people. The recipients will receive the awards at a nationally-broadcast ceremony in February showcasing performances by some of the many stars of Indigenous entertainment in Canada.

As they have for the past 25 years, the 2019 Indspire Awards honour an extraordinary group of individuals from diverse Indigenous communities. “This year’s recipients have walked in two worlds” says Roberta L. Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards. “They are an inspiration to their local communities and for Indigenous people across Canada, showing our young people that they can do it too.”

The recipients of the 2019 Indspire Awards are:

Atuat Akittirq, Aggu, Nunavut – an Inuit elder and Genie award-winner. Akittirq is being honoured with the 2019 Indspire Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Barbara Todd Hager, St. Paul des Métis Settlement, Alberta – a documentary filmmaker, writer and producer.
Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson, Westbank First Nation, British Columbia – one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in Canada.
Jijuu Mary Snowshoe, Gwich’in Nation, Northwest Territories – a traditional Gwich’in teacher who continues to live off the land.
Dr. Vianne Timmons, Mi’kmaq, Nova Scotia – an educator and university president.
Dr. Marlyn Cook, Misipawistik Cree Nation, Manitoba – one of the first Indigenous physicians in Canada.
Dianne Corbiere, M’Chigeeng First Nation, Ontario – the first Indigenous lawyer named as one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Peter Dinsdale, Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario – the President & CEO of YMCA Canada.
Brigette Lacquette, Cote First Nation, Saskatchewan – the first First Nations athlete to play on Canada’s women’s Olympic hockey team.
Billy-Ray Belcourt, Driftpile Cree Nation, Alberta – an award-winning poet and published author.
Kelly Fraser, Sanikiluaq, Nunavut – a Juno-nominated pop musician.
James Lavallée, Métis Homeland (St. Vital, St. Boniface, Bissett), Manitoba – a canoe and kayak athlete who has competed at the international level.

“We hope these stories inspire our youth to dream big,” says Jamieson. “Not only do we recognize and congratulate the recipients for their individual success, but we celebrate the impact their stories will have for generations to come. The stories will also educate Canadians about the great contributions our people have made to this country.”

“Congratulations to the twelve recipients of the Indspire Awards, whose contributions are helping to open doors for a more inclusive tomorrow,” says Doris Bear, Vice President, Indigenous Banking, TD Bank Group. “As part of TD’s global corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, we are supporting initiatives that will help create the opportunities people need to feel like they can succeed and fully participate in whatever tomorrow brings. The Indspire Awards recognize Indigenous leaders who are driving change in their community and inspiring the next generation of leaders for a brighter tomorrow.”

The 2019 Indspire Awards ceremony will be held in Calgary, Alberta on February 22, 2019. For tickets, please call 416.987.0250 or 1.855.INDSPIRE (463.7747) x228. Tickets can also be purchased online at indspire.ca/tickets/ or by emailing ticketsales@indspire.ca. The award ceremony will be broadcast on APTN and CBC at a later date.

Indspire gratefully acknowledges the support of the following:

Presenting Corporate Sponsor: TD Bank Group
Lead Partner: Government of Canada
Indigenous Youth Sponsor: Shell Canada Limited
Major Sponsors & Broadcast Partners: CBC and APTN
Major Sponsors: Suncor Energy Inc., and Syncrude Canada Ltd.
Reception Sponsor: Imperial

About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of improving graduation rates for Indigenous students. In 2017-2018, Indspire provided $14.2 million through over 4,900 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. For more information about Indspire, visit indspire.ca.


For media interviews and more information, please contact:
Amanda Charles
Communications Specialist, Indspire