CIBC marks 15th year as lead corporate sponsor of the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards



    TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is pleased to sponsor the
15th annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Each year, the awards
recognize outstanding career achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis
people, in diverse occupations, including one award given to a lifetime
achievement recipient and one for an outstanding youth achiever. In addition
to recognizing some of the Aboriginal community's brightest talents, the
awards aim to build self esteem and pride and provide valuable role models for
Aboriginal youth.
    The awards will be broadcast on Global Television on Saturday, March 22
at 8:00 p.m. ET and on the APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) on
Saturday, April 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
    "We are very pleased to have CIBC as our lead sponsor for the National
Aboriginal Achievement Awards Gala. Combined with their continued funding of
our education program through bursaries and scholarships, CIBC is making a
meaningful difference in the Aboriginal community," said Ms. Roberta Jamieson,
NAAF's President and Chief Executive Officer.
    "We are pleased to play a role in recognizing the significant
achievements of the award recipients," said Gerry McCaughey, CIBC's President
and Chief Executive Officer. "These individuals have excelled in their
respective fields, ranging from business to the arts, media, the environment,
and law and justice. In doing so, they have made an important contribution to
Canada's development, not just in terms of our economy, but in the broader
cultural and political realms of our society."

    
    This year's award recipients include:

           Norval Morrisseau(*) - Lifetime Achievement Award
           Boyd Wesley Benjamin - Special Youth Award

           Chief Jim Boucher - Business and Commerce
           Hubert Skye - Culture, Heritage and Spirituality
           Dr. Marie Ann Battiste - Education
           Dr. Jeff Reading, MSc. PhD - Health
           Paul Andrew - Media & Communications
           Joseph Leon Handley - Politics
           Sylvia B. Maracle - Public Service
           Reggie Leach - Sports
           Shirley Cheechoo - Arts
           Elizabeth (Tshaukuesh) Penashue - Environment & Natural Resources
           David C. Nahwegahbow, I.P.C. - Law & Justice
           Bernard McCue - Technology & Trades

           (*) Note: Awarded posthumously
    

    The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) is a nationally
registered non-profit organization devoted to excellence and to providing the
tools necessary for Aboriginal youth to achieve brighter futures. NAAF
encourages and empowers Aboriginal young people by providing important career
planning information, by connecting youth with industry and by providing
financial support for post-secondary studies in all disciplines. NAAF also
celebrates Aboriginal success with the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards,
showing all of Canada the accomplishments of Aboriginal peoples and
demonstrating to youth that anything is possible for them to achieve.

    CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our
employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities
through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee
commitment to causes including the CIBC Run for the Cure, the United Way and
the CIBC World Markets Children's Miracle Foundation, we are investing in the
social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2007,
CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to
charitable organizations and community initiatives. Of this, $27 million was
invested in Canada to support national regional and local organizations. To
learn more, visit www.cibc.com/pas





For further information:

For further information: Rob McLeod, Senior Director, External
Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-3714,
rob.mcleod@cibc.com or Jamie Monastyrski, Director of Communications and
Media, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Tel: (416) 926-0775 ext.
238, jmonastyrski@naaf.ca


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