Indspire announces 2015 Indspire Awards recipients

October 28, 2014

Outstanding Indigenous achievers acknowledged in the House of Commons today
Gala to be held in Calgary on February 27, 2015

(October 28, 2014 – Ohsweken, ON) – Indspire, the largest non-governmental funder of Indigenous education, announced today the names of 14 outstanding Indigenous Canadians who have been selected as recipients of the 2015 Indspire Awards.

The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, acknowledged the award recipients in Parliament and hosted a reception in their honour. The 2015 Indspire Awards recipients are as follows (visit here for complete biographies):

  • Lifetime Achievement: Elsie Yanik – Métis – Alberta
  • Arts: Ron E. Scott – Métis – Alberta
  • Business & Commerce: Brenda La Rose – Métis – Manitoba
  • Culture, Heritage, & Spirituality: Peter Irniq – Inuit – Nunavut
  • Education:Paulette C. Tremblay – Six Nations of the Grand River – Ontario
  • Environment & Natural Resources: Gerald Anderson – Inuit – Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Health: William Julius Mussell – Skwah First Nation – British Columbia
  • Law & Justice: Dr. Wilton Littlechild – Ermineskin Cree Nation – Alberta
  • Politics: Kim Baird –Tsawwassen First Nation – British Columbia
  • Public Service: Madeleine Redfern – Inuit – Nunavut
  • Sports: Gino Odjick – Kitigan Zibi First Nation – Quebec
  • Youth – First Nation: Kendal Netmaker –Sweetgrass First Nation – Saskatchewan
  • Youth – Inuit: Jordan Konek – Nunavut
  • Youth – Métis: Gabrielle Fayant – Alberta

“Over the course of their professional careers, these individuals have made distinct, enduring contributions to their communities and to the entire country,” said Roberta L. Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards. “The Indspire Awards also salute the future by acknowledging the achievements of three Indigenous youth, so they can serve as role models for their peers. We are proud of each recipient and are honoured to be able to share their stories with all Canadians.”

The 2015 Indspire Awards gala will be held on February 27, 2015 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. 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 gala ceremony will air at a later date on Global Television and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the returning exclusive broadcast partners.

Indspire gratefully acknowledges the support of CIBC and Shell Canada Ltd. as presenting corporate sponsors of the 2015 Indspire Awards. CIBC has been a long-time supporter of Indspire and the Indspire Awards and remains committed to celebrating the noteworthy innovations and achievements of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples. “Shell salutes all of the recipients for their impressive and inspiring accomplishments,” said Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Country Chair, Shell Canada Ltd. and EVP, Heavy Oil. “We are pleased to partner with Indspire in a ceremony that not only acknowledges this year’s recipients but provides an important legacy for future generations.”

The Indspire Awards, the highest honour bestowed by Indigenous people on their own achievers, have celebrated the significant contributions of Indigenous people in Canada for 22 years. The Indspire Awards recognize the success of individuals who have the discipline, drive, and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals. They promote self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community and provide outstanding role models for Indigenous youth.

The jury for the Indspire Awards is composed of previous Award recipients, representing a range of sectors and regions across the country. From hundreds of nominations, the jury selects ten career achievement award recipients, three youth award recipients (First Nation, Inuit and Métis), and one lifetime achievement recipient. The jury process is based on the highest standards of fairness, honesty, and respect to all of the highly deserving nominees.

2015 Indspire Awards supporters include:

  • Presenting Corporate Sponsor: CIBC, Shell Canada Ltd.
  • Lead Partner: Government of Canada
  • Regional Partner: Province of Alberta
  • Major Sponsors: Suncor Energy Inc., Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McKay Group of Companies, Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp., Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Shaw Media
  • Participating Sponsor: Tuccaro Inc. Group of Companies
  • Government Sponsors: Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Supporting Sponsors: City of Calgary, Wilbros Group, Inc.
  • Broadcast Partners: Shaw Media/Global TV and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
  • Official Airline: Air Canada
  • The Westin Calgary

About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered 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 closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the Indspire Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. Since its inception in 1985, Indspire has disbursed almost $65 million through close to 20,000 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students, making it the largest funder of Indigenous education outside the federal government. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people that is broadcast nationally.

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For media interviews and more information, please contact: 
Benita Aalto, Communications Specialist
Phone: 416.987.6015
Cell: 647.622.2469