The 2023 Indspire Awards reach a significant milestone this year: 2023 marks 30 years of honouring First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals who demonstrate incredible accomplishment across the country and beyond.
“We have many reasons to celebrate during this year’s Indspire Awards ceremony,” said Indspire president and CEO Mike DeGagné.
The recipients’ stories will be shared in a national broadcast celebration on June 20 that showcases the diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The program will air on APTN.
Degagné said the 30-year milestone made him reflect on the decades of Indigenous talent that Indspire seeks to highlight.
“The 30th anniversary is a meaningful opportunity to honour this year’s Laureates along with the 480 Indigenous leaders who have received [Indspire] awards in the past; it also stands as a testament to the friends, family, loved ones and co-workers who have assisted them in their important work,” he said in an interview with APTN News.
Willow Allen is one of this year’s recipients.
She works as a model and is also studying social work and mental health at the University of Manitoba. When she’s not travelling the world, she’s sharing traditional Inuit cultural practises on TikTok, or speaking to international media about the power of indigenous women.
“This award is so amazing to me,” said Allen in an interview. “…I think it is important for young people to see that they can make a difference in their community.”
This year‘s lifetime achievement award goes to Albert Marshall. Marshall is an internationally respected Elder of the Mi’kmaw Nation, who lives in the community of Eskasoni in Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island, N.S.). Marshall’s contributions to the profession include the teachings of Etuaptmumk, a Mi’kmaw word/phrase for Two-Eyed Seeing.
APTN CEO Monika Ille awarded Jeanine Krauchi of Manitoba a master of Métis beadwork.
The 2023 recipients are:
Reanna Merasty – Youth Recipient
Willow Allen – Youth Recipient
Ruby Bruce – Youth Recipient
Kylik Kisoun Taylor – Business & Commerce
Jennine Krauchi – Culture, Heritage & Spirituality
Shirley Cuillierrier – Public Service
Joe Dion Buffalo – Sports
Madame Justice Ardith Walkem – Law & Justice
Lori Campbell – Education
Sandra Laronde – Arts
Dr. Christopher Mushquash – Health
Albert Marshall – Lifetime Achievement
Full bios are available on the Indspire Awards recipients page.
The awards can be seen Sunday, June 18 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on APTN and APTN lumi.