Check out our Aboriginal Job Board!
Recognizing youth for achievement has powerful impact
Reno Nash was 13 years old when he walked across the Winspear stage in 2008 to receive an Alberta Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award. Two years later, his brother Joshua, then 16, stepped up for his own Youth Achievement Award. The two brothers are shining examples of teenagers doing something right.
Refusing to be defeated or defined by adversity they experienced early in their lives, both Nash brothers are achievers in school and in sports.They are natural leaders determined to reach their goals, yet they still make time to help out at home.
They are not alone. Young Aboriginals across this province are quietly making a difference in their schools, their families and their neighbourhoods: providing mentorship in sports and education, encouraging their peers to make better life choices and turning their own challenges into opportunities for improvement. These young people are displaying work ethics and ambitions that achievers build their lives on.
Teachers, parents, Elders, coaches and other community leaders have an opportunity to recognize their outstanding efforts by nominating a deserving young person, aged 10-30, for an Alberta Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award.
“The awards take positive role models involved in the community and highlight and showcase their achievements, creating public awareness in both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities,” said Christie Ladouceur, manager of provincial youth projects for Rupertsland Institute. “It inspires other youth to walk in their footsteps.”
Nominations must be received at Rupertsland Institute by May 20.
“It does take time and TLC to submit a nomination, but it is rewarding to see the efforts of these youth celebrated by the community at large,” said Ladouceur. “I run into these kids everywhere, and I have seen the difference it makes to them. I have heard of kids getting scholarships, going on to post-secondary, getting other youth involved, and the award leading to career opportunities. It makes us feel really good to see the domino effect going on.”
Awards are presented in six categories to both junior and senior recipients: academic achievement; athletic achievement; Culture and Heritage: for helping to preserve and promote First Nations, Métis or Inuit culture and heritage; Walking the Red Road: for demonstrating and encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle or overcome addictions; Career Advancement: for working toward a specific career objective, and receiving recognition for career-related activities; Community Leader: for demonstrating leadership in all five categories above and going the extra mile in community programs and activities.
The 2011 awards presentation will be a gala celebration at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton on Sept. 23. The evening is a shining showcase of Aboriginal performances in song and dance, from hoop dancing to hip-hop, and from rap to traditional song. It is a colourful, cultural feast for the senses attracting about 1,000 attendees from all over the province. A youth conference during the day and a family dance afterwards round out the day-long event.
The program has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2003. The first awards show was held in a school gymnasium.
“Nominations have increased because our profile in the community has increased, and we welcome them. The more the better,” said Ladouceur.
An independent judging panel is made up of about 10 young people, usually aged 15-30. Among the major sponsors are Rupertsland Institute (a Métis centre of excellence), as well as CTV and NAIT.
“We are always looking for more community partners and sponsors,” said Ladouceur.
- Community Access
- Contact Us
- Our History
- Archives Search
- In Depth
Share this with friends
- The #IdleNoMore Movement
- Relationship between Canada's Justice System and Aboriginal People
- 2013 Guide to Powwow Country Events Calendar
- Play Radio Bingo to win!
- CFWE-FM Alberta Radio Network
- Buffalo Spirit Foundation
- Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB)
- July Windspeaker - June 24
- July Raven's Eye - June 24
- July Saskatchewan Sage - June 24
- July Alberta Sweetgrass - July 8
- Download 2013 AMMSA media kits for:
* Sage - Raven's Eye - Birchbark
- Online advertising on www.ammsa.com.
Subscribe & Donate
- Order a Windspeaker digital subscription
- Order a Windspeaker print subscription
- Support independent, Indigenous media in Canada by making a donation via paypal