Indspire Awards

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The Indspire Awards, until 2012 the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards,[1] are annual awards presented by Indspire in Canada. The awards are intended to celebrate and encourage excellence in the Aboriginal community.[2]


The awards were first established in 1993, and presented in 1994, in conjunction with the United Nations declared International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. The awards are intended to celebrate and encourage excellence in the Indigenous community.[2] Awards may be presented in a variety of categories, depending on the particular achievements of Aboriginal people in the nominating period — 14 awards[3] are presented each year including one for Lifetime Achievement and three special Youth Awards, one each for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, that comes with a cash prize of $10,000 and 10 career categories with not all individual career categories necessarily presented annually. To be eligible an individual must be of either First Nations, Inuit, or Métis heritage. Additionally they must demonstrate outstanding career achievement, and be a permanent Canadian resident or be Canadian born. The awards are broadcast annually on the Global Television Network and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). Since 1985 Indspire through its Education Program has awarded more than $87-million in scholarships and bursaries to more than 25,00 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students nationwide.[4]

Award categories[edit]

The award categories are:[3]

  • Arts
  • Business and Commerce
  • Culture, Heritage and Spirituality
  • Education
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Health
  • Law and Justice
  • Politics
  • Public Service
  • Sports
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Youth Award, First Nation
  • Youth Award, Inuit
  • Youth Award, Métis

Eligibility criteria[edit]

Individuals of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis ancestry who have reached a significant level of achievement in their respective occupations are eligible for nomination. Any person may nominate a candidate they deem to be worthy of this recognition with reference to the following criteria:[5]

  • Of First Nations, Inuit or Métis heritage
  • Who demonstrate outstanding career achievement
  • Of any age with the exception of the youth category
  • Permanent Canadian resident or Canadian born
  • Youth achiever nominees must be 15–27 years of age

Indspire Awards recipients[edit]

Each year 14 recipients are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in various disciplines ranging from health, law, political science, culture, arts, and others, two of which are specific recognition to one outstanding youth achiever and one lifetime achievement recipient.[6][7] The awards are recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the highest honours the community can bestow upon its own achievers.[8]


  • Joseph Boyden, Arts
  • Clint Davis, Business and Commerce
  • Jim Ochiese, Culture, Heritage, & Spirituality
  • Mae Louise Campbell, Culture, Heritage, & Spirituality
  • Jo-Ann Episkenew, Education
  • Pat Mandy, Health
  • Mark L’Hirondelle Stevenson, Law and Justice
  • Robert Joseph, Lifetime Achievement
  • Michael Kanentakeron Mitchell, Politics
  • Leonard George, Public Service
  • Carey Price, Sports
  • Christian Kowalchuk, Youth Recipient
  • Killulark (Laura) Arngna’naaq, Youth Recipient
  • Zondra Roy, Youth Recipient


  • Ron E. Scott, Arts
  • Brenda La Rose, Business and Commerce
  • Peter Irniq, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Paulette C. Tremblay, Education
  • Gerald Anderson, Environment and Natural Resources
  • William Julius Mussell, Health
  • Wilton Littlechild, Law and Justice
  • Elsie Yanik, Lifetime Achievement
  • Kim Baird, Politics
  • Madeleine Redfern, Public Service
  • Gino Odjick, Sports
  • Jordan Konek, Youth
  • Kendal Netmaker, Youth
  • Gabrielle Fayant, Youth Métis


  • Kent Monkman, Arts
  • Marie Yvonne Delorme, Business & Commerce
  • Maggie Paul, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Rita Bouvier, Education
  • Charlie Snowshoe, Environment & Natural Resources
  • Evan Tlesla II Adams, Health
  • Marion Meadmore, Law & Justice
  • James Eetoolook, Lifetime Achievement
  • Stewart Philip, Politics
  • Robert Watts, Public Service
  • Mary Spencer, Sports
  • John Nicholas Jeddore, Youth First Nation
  • Sarah Arngna’naaq, Youth Inuit
  • Christie Lavallée, Youth Métis
  • Kristinn Frederickson, Youth Special


  • Jacqueline Guest, Arts
  • Charlie Evalik, Business & Commerce
  • Winston Wuttunee , Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Education
  • Lloyd (Sonny) Flett, Environment & Natural Resources
  • Ruby Jacobs, Health
  • Viola Robinson, Law & Justice
  • Alex Van Bibber, Lifetime Achievement
  • Duane Smith, Politics
  • Gail Cyr, Public Service
  • Theoren Fleury, Sports
  • Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Youth First Nation
  • Elizabeth Zarpa, Youth Inuit
  • Graham Kotowich, Youth Métis


  • Adam Beach, Arts
  • Victor S. Buffalo, Business & Commerce
  • Dave Courchene, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Leona Makokis, Education
  • Richard Stewart Hardy, Environment & Natural Resources
  • Janet Smylie, Health
  • Violet Ford, Law & Justice
  • Gerry St. Germain, Lifetime
  • Richard Wagamese, Media & Communications
  • Leona Aglukkaq, Politics
  • Edward John, Politics
  • Minnie Grey, Public Service
  • Richard Peter, Sports
  • Earl Cook, Youth
  • Candace Sutherland, Youth


  • Corrine Hunt, Arts
  • Joseph F. Dion, Business & Commerce
  • Paingut Annie Peterloosie, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Margo L. Greenwood, Education
  • Ronald Edward Sparrow, Environment & Natural Resources
  • Marcia Anderson DeCoteau, Health
  • Roger Jones, Law & Justice
  • Lillian McGregor, Lifetime
  • Jean LaRose, Media & Communications
  • Audrey Poitras, Politics
  • Cindy Blackstock, Public Service
  • Teyotsihstokwáthe Dakota Brant, Special Youth
  • Frederick G. Sasakamoose, Sports
  • Duncan Cree, Technology & Trades


  • Kananginak Pootoogook, Arts
  • Ellen Melcosky, Business & Commerce
  • Tom Crane Bear, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Raoul J. McKay, Education
  • Danny Beaton, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Madeleine Kētēskwew Dion Stout, Health
  • Donald Worme, Law & Justice
  • William Commanda, Lifetime
  • Kenneth Atsenhaienton Deer, Media & Communication
  • Eric Robinson, Politics
  • Edith Cloutier, Public Service
  • Skawenniio Barnes, Special Youth
  • Monica Pinette, Sports
  • Doug Henry, Technology & Trades


  • Melanie Jackson, Arts
  • Dennis Jackson, Arts
  • Allan C. McLeod, Business & Commerce
  • Stephen J. Augustine, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Cecil King, Education
  • Gordon W. Prest, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Candace Grier-Lowe, Health
  • Delia Opekokew, Law & Justice
  • Stan Cuthand, Lifetime Achievement
  • Carol Morin, Media & Communication
  • Paul Okalik, Politics
  • Joan Glode, Public Service
  • Chelsea Lavallée, Special Youth
  • Adam Sioui, Sports
  • Mervin J. Dewasha, Technology & Trades


  • Shirley Cheechoo, Arts
  • Jim Boucher, Business & Commerce
  • Hubert Skye, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Marie Ann Battiste, Education
  • Elizabeth (Tshaukuesh) Penashue, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Jeff Reading, Health
  • David C. Nahwegahbow, Law & Justice
  • Norval Morrisseau, Lifetime Achievement
  • Paul Andrew, Media & Communication
  • Joe Handley, Politics
  • Sylvia B. Maracle, Public Service
  • Boyd Wesley Benjamin, Special Youth
  • Reggie Leach, Sports


  • Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Arts
  • Jack Poole, Business & Commerce
  • Alestine Andre, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Joe Michel, Education
  • David Walkem, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Joseph Couture, Health
  • Hugh Braker, Law & Justice
  • Bertha Clark Jones, Lifetime Achievement
  • Lisa Meeches, Media & Communication
  • Fred Carmichael, Politics
  • Lewis Cardinal, Public Service
  • James Makokis, Special Youth
  • Wegadesk Gorup-Paul, Sports
  • Monica Peters, Technology & Trades



  • Joe Jacobs, Arts
  • Gerald McMaster, Arts
  • Douglas Golosky, Business & Commerce
  • Judy Gingell, Community Development
  • John Joe Sark, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Eber Hampton, Education
  • Emma LaRocque, Education
  • Andy Carpenter Sr., Environment and Natural Resources
  • Thomas Dignan, Health
  • Bertha Allen, Lifetime Achievement
  • Brenda Chambers, Media & Communication
  • Lolly Annahatak, Social Services
  • Fauna Kingdon, Special Youth
  • Sharon Anne Firth, Sports



  • John Arcand, Arts
  • Tom King, Arts
  • Mel E. Benson, Business & Commerce
  • Gary Bosgoed, Business & Commerce
  • Mary Richard, Community Development
  • Charles Edward Lennie, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Leroy Little Bear, Education
  • Simon Lucas, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Judith Bartlett, Health
  • Jay Wortman, Health
  • John J. Borrows, Law & Justice
  • Robbie Robertson, Lifetime Achievement
  • Sophie Pierre, Public Service
  • Matthew Dunn, Special Youth


  • Ohito Ashoona, Arts
  • Freda Diesing, Arts
  • Harry Deneron, Business & Commerce
  • Leonard (Len) G. Flett, Business & Commerce
  • George Kurszewski, Community Development
  • Noel Knockwood, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Roy Fox, Energy
  • Gilles Pinette, Health
  • Alex Janvier, Lifetime Achievement
  • Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, Media & Communication
  • Jonah Kelly, Media & Communication
  • Joseph Tokwiro Norton, Public Service
  • Jordin Tootoo, Special Youth
  • Michael Nepinak, Sports



  • Art Thompson, Arts
  • John Charles Bernard, Business & Commerce
  • Roy Albert Whitney, Business & Commerce
  • Paul J. Birckel, Community Development
  • Simon Baker, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Edith Josie, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Jo-Ann Archibald, Education
  • Miles G. Richardson, Environment and Natural Resources
  • Fjola Hart-Wasekeesikaw, Health
  • Steven Point, Law & Justice
  • Joseph Arthur Gosnell, Lifetime Achievement
  • Leetia Ineak, Media & Communication
  • Konrad Haskan Sioui, Public Service
  • Waneek Horn-Miller, Special Youth


  • Dorothy Grant, Business & Commerce
  • David Gabriel Tuccaro, Business & Commerce
  • Dorothy Betz, Community Development
  • Theresa Stevenson, Community Development
  • Mitiarjuk Attasie Nappaaluk, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
  • Howard Adams, Education
  • Malcolm King, Health
  • Edward Kantonkote Cree, Health
  • James Igloliorte, Law & Justice
  • Rose Toodick Boyko, Law & Justice
  • Allen Sapp, Lifetime Achievement
  • James Bartleman, Public Service
  • Lillian Dyck, Science
  • ‘Alika LaFontaine, Youth





  • Douglas Cardinal, Architecture
  • Robert Davidson, Arts and Culture
  • Frank Hansen, Business and Culture
  • Louis Stevenson, Community Development
  • Ernest Benedict, Education
  • Marie Smallface Marule, Education
  • Ahab Spence, Education
  • Matthew Coon Come, Environment and Public Service
  • Maggie Hodgson]], Health Services
  • Alfred Scow, Law and Justice
  • Kenojuak Ashevak, Lifetime Achievement
  • Noah Carpenter, Medicine
  • Sharla Tiakohatéhkwen Howard, Special Youth
  • Angela Chalmers, Sports


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  1. ^ Goodleaf, Terence. "National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation changes name". Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b "Honouring Extraordinary Indigenous People". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Award Categories". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  4. ^ "Indigenous Education is Canada's Future Growth". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Eligibility Requirements". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Indspire Award Recipients". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. 
  7. ^ "Indspire Laureates". Indspire. Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Lawyer among National Aboriginal Achievement Award winners". The Law Society of Upper Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

External links[edit]