Wanosts̓a7 Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria, has been recognized for her excellent work in education with a 2018 Indspire award.

Líl̓wat Nation congratulates Wanosts̓a7 for her 2018 Indspire award win.  From designing a mandatory course in Indigenous education for all teacher education programs in British Columbia to instructing at UVic, Wanosts̓a7 has made incredible contributions to Indigenous education and cultural reclamation. She is pictured above with her niece, Councillor Mámaya7 Lois Joseph, who was in attendance when Wanosts̓a7’s award was announced in the House of Commons. The Indspire Awards ceremony will take place in Winnipeg in March 2018

To learn more about Indspire, please read the CBC news story by clicking this link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/indspire-awards-1.4390579

Below is the press release that Indspire issued about the 2018 awards:

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Ceremony to be held in Winnipeg on March 23, 2018 (November 7, 2017 – Ohsweken, ON) – Indspire, the largest funder of Indigenous post-secondary education outside the federal government, announced in Ottawa today the names of 13 outstanding First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals who have been selected as recipients of the 2018 Indspire Awards. The jury is composed of previous Award recipients, representing a range of sectors and regions across the country.

As in past years the recipients include an extraordinary list of some of Canada’s most accomplished people – from an Audain Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada, to a woman in a male dominated field, who has grown her business to over 900 employees since becoming CEO in 2004. Two women residential school survivors, one an Elder and a teacher, who integrates Indigenous knowledge into all her teachings and the other who is a linguist uniquely skilled at sewing buckskin and beadwork. There is a Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria, who introduced a mandatory course in Indigenous education for all teacher education programs in British Columbia; and a legal practitioner and retired Professor of Law who served on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and represented Indigenous people for three decades at the United Nations on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Then there is the president of a university who recently served as the founding Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, a national organization which addressed the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. The #1-ranked 3-on-3 basketball player in all of the Americas, and founder of Boys with Braids is on the list; and the youngest recipient, who ran 134km to raise awareness for children of missing and murdered Indigenous women and led the new Liberal government into Rideau Hall with his hand drum. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is a woman with a long and distinguished career promoting Indigenous culture, who was instrumental in the repatriation of artifacts seized by authorities in a 1921 potlatch raid. She was also the first Indigenous woman to attend the University of British Columbia, back in 1949.

The 3 Youth recipients include the first First Nations woman to become both Miss Canada in 2010, and be crowned Mrs. Universe in 2015; an Inuk woman who became the first cardiac surgery resident; and a Métis woman who ran 115 km in four days to raise money and awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The 2018 Indspire Awards recipients are:

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Gloria Cranmer Webster, ‘Namgis First Nation, BC
Arts: Greg Hill, Kanyen’kehaka at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, ON
Business & Commerce: Nicole Bourque-Bouchier, Mikisew Cree First Nation, AB
Culture, Heritage & Spirituality: Kye7e Cecilia Dick DeRose, Secwepemc Nation,
BC Culture, Heritage & Spirituality: Theland Kicknosway, Walpole Island Bkejwanong Territory, ON
Education: Dr. Lorna Wanosts̓a7 Williams, Líl̓wat Nation, BC
Health: Dr. Evelyn Voyageur, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, BC Law & Justice: Paul Chartrand, Métis, St. Laurent, MB
Public Service: Dr. Mike DeGagné, Animakee Wa Zhing, ON Sports: Michael Linklater, Thunderchild First Nation, SK
Youth – First Nation: Ashley Callingbull, Enoch Cree Nation, AB
Youth – Inuit: Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, Nunavut
Inuit Nunangat Youth – Métis: Tracie Léost, Métis, St. Laurent, MB


“The 2018 Indspire Awards are the highest honour bestowed on Indigenous people, marking the significant contributions of our people in Canada. We not only recognize the recipients’ individual successes, their discipline, drive and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals, but also to share and celebrate, the impact of their stories and journeys with all Canadians,” said Roberta L. Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards. “We also celebrate the future, through our three youth recipients, each of whom serves as a role model, promoting self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community at large and providing outstanding role models for Indigenous youth across the country.”

The thirteen award recipients will be recognized in Ottawa, today, during Question Period in the House of Commons and a special Speaker’s Reception, immediately following.

The 2018 Indspire Awards ceremony will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 23, 2018, featuring live performances from some of the biggest names in Indigenous entertainment in Canada today. For tickets, please call 416.987.0250 or 1.855.INDSPIRE (463.7747) x228. Tickets can also be purchased online at indspire.ca/tickets or by emailing ticketsales@indspire.ca. The Awards ceremony will be broadcast on APTN and CBC at a later date. This year, Indspire celebrates 25 years of the Indspire Awards which promote self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community along with outstanding role models for Indigenous youth.

Indspire is an Indigenous-led national 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 invests in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students so they will achieve their highest potential. In 2016-2017, Indspire awarded $11.6 million through 3,764 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. For more information about the 2018 Indspire Awards, visit indspire.ca.