National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation becomes Indspire

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is now Indspire.  The new identity signals a new day for Indigenous education in Canada. And Indspire's new tagline, says it all: "Indigenous education, Canada's future."

The new name combines key notions of Indigenous and inspiration to highlight Indspire's mandate. Gaining widespread acceptance from Indigenous organizations across Canada and the world, the term Indigenous means "of the land," and is literally expressive of Canada's original peoples.

"As the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, we were well-known for our work in recognizing Indigenous role models and achievement," said Roberta Jamieson, Indspire President and CEO and Indspire Awards Executive Producer.  "Yet achievement is difficult without a quality education. This compelled us to play a more active role in improving and even transforming Indigenous education from the very onset of learning."

Indspire will continue its best known activities, including the distribution of bursaries and scholarships.  Since 1985, the organization, through its Education Program, has awarded more than $42.7 million in scholarships and bursaries to more than 11,500 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students nationwide.

Recognition and celebration of First Nation, Inuit and Métis role models remains vital to achieving its mission.  The annual national gala of Indigenous achievement remains a cornerstone. The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards will now be the Indspire Awards. The celebration is also highlighting the importance of Indigenous education throughout the event, and increasing the presence and recognition of young achievers who can encourage their peers.

When fully implemented, the Indspire Institute will be one of the key elements of the organization's redefined focus. The Institute is a virtual, online hub dedicated to sharing and creating programs, learning and best practices in Indigenous education from K-12, with a primary goal of improving high school completion rates. It will house many of Indspire's existing programs, become a source of distinct and respectful practices and related resources for Indigenous education, and will develop and implement "on the-ground" programming in communities nationwide.

As Indspire, its programs and primary activities remain solidly in place. The physical addresses will remain the same. Staff can be reached at 1.855. INDSPIRE (463.7747).  A new website, www.indspire.ca was created and e-mail addresses have changed to reflect the new brand name.

Indspire believes that it's time for new approaches, bold investment, and more support from more Canadians, visionary organizations and all citizens alike.  "We hope you share our excitement about this exciting new day for both Indigenous education and Canada," said Roberta Jamieson.

SOURCE National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation

For further information:

John Ecker 
Vice-President of Communications & Media Relation 
416.987.0260 
jecker@indspire.ca


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