OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The National Aboriginal Health
Organization (NAHO) is pleased to celebrate the accomplishments of 27 year old
Inez Jasper of Chilliwack, British Columbia. On the same day she was announced
as one of this year's 12 National Aboriginal Role Models, a program
administered by NAHO, she also won a talent contest at the Summer Solstice
Aboriginal Arts Festival.
June 21, 2008 was a big day for Inez Jasper, whose morning began at an
awards ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa where she was presented with the
National Aboriginal Role Model Program (NARMP) Award by Her Excellency the
Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada.
NAHO has been administering the NARMP, which is funded by Health Canada,
since 2004. NARMP celebrates the accomplishments of First Nations, Inuit and
Métis youth aged 13 to 30. Lead Your Way, the program's theme, inspires
Aboriginal youth to strive to reach their goals.
"Leading her way is exactly what Inez is doing," says Dr. Paulette
C. Tremblay, CEO of NAHO. "This beautiful and talented young Aboriginal woman
is one of the 12 youth ambassadors being recognized for their achievements and
leadership this year."
After the awards ceremony at Rideau Hall, all of the Role Models and
their friends and families attended the Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts
Festival in honour of National Aboriginal Day at Victoria Island, (Ottawa)
Ontario where Inez took first place in the talent contest for her vocal
"This win means a lot for my family and me," says Inez Jasper, whose
parents were in the audience. "The $10,000 award money is going to pay for the
production and release of my solo album." This is a dream Inez has been
working towards for many years.
Inez credits her inspiration to the young Aboriginal children who are
just learning how to speak "When they learn the lyrics to my songs it is very
touching and motivates me to continue pursuing music."
She goes on to say, "A lot of Aboriginal children and youth identify with
hip hop because true hip hop is a form of art and expression. It is a way of
sharing messages with our people. I see how proud they are to be Native and I
am proud to use my music to be a positive role model."
Among this year's role models is fellow musician Ry Moran from Victoria,
British Columbia who also performed in the talent contest. Ry shares Inez's
belief that the power of music can help to shape the identity of Aboriginal
children and youth today. He shares, "Music is extremely powerful, it is an
unstoppable force in my life. My songs contain positive messages and hope for
the future. My goal at a lyrical level is to convey the emotions I feel about
our collective past as Aboriginal Peoples."
All of the role models will be available throughout the year to attend
celebrations, school functions, workshops and conferences to share their
stories with other Aboriginal youth. For more information about the National
Aboriginal Role Model Program, please visit www.naho.ca.
The National Aboriginal Health Organization is an Aboriginal-designed and
-controlled body that works to influence and advance the health and well-being
of Aboriginal Peoples through knowledge-based strategies.
For further information:
For further information: For media inquiries or to obtain photos,
contact: Colleen Patterson, Communications Officer, (613) 237-9462 ext. 559,
Toll Free: 1-877-602-4445 ext. 559, Cell: (613) 863-9001, firstname.lastname@example.org;
For more information, visit: www.naho.ca/rolemodel; National Aboriginal Role
Model Program materials include: - Biographical information of the National
Spokesperson and 12 role models - Posters and trading cards of the National
Spokesperson and 12 role models