2015 Indspire Awards light up Calgary tonight

14 Indigenous achievers to be honoured in gala show at Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

OHSWEKEN, ON, Feb. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Fourteen First Nation, Inuit, and Métis individuals from across the country will be honoured tonight in Calgary at the 2015 Indspire Awards gala at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.

The 14 Indspire Awards recipients, including three youth recipients and one lifetime achievement honoree, will be celebrated by approximately 2,000 gala attendees.

"For more than two decades, Indspire has been honoured to recognize the achievements of our people, not only to bring their accomplishments to the awareness of Canadians, but also to provide role models for Indigenous youth," said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards. "Many of our youth will be able to attend the gala in person thanks to the generosity of our supporters."

The 2015 Indspire Awards recipients are:

Lifetime Achievement: 

Elsie Yanik – Métis – Alberta


Ron E. Scott – Métis – Alberta

Business & Commerce: 

Brenda La Rose - Métis – Manitoba

Culture, Heritage & Spirituality: 

Piita (Peter) Irniq – Inuit – Nunavut


Dr. Paulette C. Tremblay – First Nation: Mohawk – Ontario

Environment & Natural Resources: 

Gerald Anderson – Inuit – Newfoundland and Labrador


William Julius Mussell – Skwah First Nation – British Columbia

Law & Justice: 

 Dr. Wilton Littlechild – Ermineskin Cree Nation – Alberta


Kim Baird – Tsawwassen First Nation – British Columbia

Public Service: 

Madeleine Redfern – Inuit – Nunavut


Gino Odjick – Kitigan Zibi First Nation - Quebec

Youth – First Nation: 

Kendal Netmaker – Sweetgrass First Nation – Saskatchewan

Youth – Inuit: 

Jordan Konek – Inuit – Nunavut

Youth – Métis:

Gabrielle Fayant – Métis – Alberta

Jennifer Podemski is the Co-Executive Producer of the Awards, and the gala evening will be hosted by Lorne Cardinal and Kyle Nobess. Cardinal is well-known to audiences in Canada and globally for his award-winning role on the hit series – and now feature film – Corner Gas. Returning to co-host the gala, Nobess is a Winnipeg-based actor who has a recurring role on Mohawk Girls and is currently an on-air entertainment host for APTN.

This year's gala salutes the diverse storytelling traditions of Indigenous peoples and features incredible Indigenous talent from across Canada, the US, and New Zealand, all on one stage, including Inuk Polaris Prize winner Tanya Tagaq, whose haunting throat-singing will be accompanied by award-winning dancer Santee Smith. Other performers include comic Candy Palmater, host of The Candy Show on APTN; Yukon-born actor Tahmoh Penikett (Strange Empire, Supernatural, Man of Steel); Dani & Lizzy, singer-songwriter sisters from Vancouver; the Los Angeles-based Cree/Huichol hip hop duo, Lightning Cloud; New Zealand's Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre; Maori R&B vocalist, Pieter T; multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Niiko Soul; and Elbow River Indigenous Dance Performers.

The Indspire Awards is made possible by the generous support of a number of individual, government, and corporate supporters, including presenting corporate sponsors CIBC and Shell Canada Ltd.

"CIBC has been a proud sponsor of the Indspire Awards since their beginning, and we are honoured to be part of this national celebration of the accomplishments, talents, and dedication of these role models," said Victor Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC.

"Congratulations to all of the 2015 Indspire Awards recipients," said Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Canada Country Chair, Executive Vice President, Heavy Oil, Shell Canada Limited. "Shell Canada is proud to work with Indspire to support and raise awareness about Indigenous achievement through financial awards, educational programs, and the Indspire Awards."

The 2015 Indspire Awards sponsors and supporters include:

LEAD PARTNER: Government of Canada
REGIONAL PARTNER: Government of Alberta
MAJOR SPONSORS: Shaw Media, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Suncor Energy, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McKay Group of Companies LP, Frog Lake Energy Resources Corp.
HOST FIRST NATIONS: Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 & Treaty No. 8
PARTICIPATING SPONSOR: Tuccaro Inc. Group of Companies
GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS: Government of the Northwest Territories, City of Calgary
OFFICIAL HOTEL: The Westin Calgary

The Canadian Screen Award-nominated show will be broadcast nationally by media partners Global Television and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) at a later date.

About the Indspire Awards
The Indspire Awards have celebrated the significant contributions of Indigenous people in Canada for 22 years. The Awards are aligned with Indspire's mandate to provide educational support and programs for future generations to succeed. They promote self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community and provide outstanding role models for Indigenous youth. They recognize the success of individuals who have the discipline, drive and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals.

The national jury for the Indspire Awards is comprised of previous recipients, who represent a range of economic sectors, fields of endeavor, 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 award. Recipients are selected through a process that is based on the highest merits of fairness, honesty, and respect to all of the highly-deserving nominees.

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.

SOURCE Indspire

For further information: For media interviews and more information please contact: Benita Aalto, Communications, Specialist, Indspire, baalto@indspire.ca, Phone: 416-987-6015, Cell: 647-622-2469

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