Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with Indspire Awards Gala on June 21

(ANNews) – National Indigenous Peoples Day is a time to celebrate the outstanding contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples in all aspects of Canadian Life. In this time of COVID-19 social distancing, we can all do that from the comfort of our own homes while watching the 2020 Indspire Awards which will be broadcast on APTN, CBC, CBC Radio and CBC GEM on Sunday June 21, 2020 at 8:00pm / 8:30pm NT.

The 2020 Indspire Awards honour eleven First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals who exemplify Indigenous excellence and whose stories inspire, uplift, and educate Canadians about the tremendous contributions Indigenous people make to our country. The 2020 Indspire Awards was filmed in Ottawa on March 6 at the National Arts Centre just before the nation went into lock down mode to protect Canadians from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indspire Awards represents the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people. After 27 years, the Indspire Awards have honoured 373 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement. The show is a nationally broadcast celebration of culture showcasing the diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada including performances by Canada’s biggest names in Indigenous entertainment.

“2020 represents the 27th year that the Indspire Awards have been presented to honour the outstanding achievements of extraordinary First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals,” said Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire.  “Their accomplishments are celebrated on a national scale, and we are very pleased to be able to share their stories with all Canadians.”

Join Indspire Awards co-hosts Tiffany Ayalik and Craig Lauzon in this wonderful celebration of Indigenous excellence. In addition to introducing the award’s recipients, the evening has star studded performances by Adrian Sutherland & Midnight Shine, Genevieve Fisher, Tom Wilson, iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ, Chuck Copenace and Leela Gilday. Youth Award presenters are “Amazing Race Canada” winners Dr. James Makokis & Anthony Johnson.

Indspire is a national Indigenous registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada.

Their vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement. In partnership with Indigenous, private and public sector stakeholders, Indspire educates, connects and invests in Indigenous people so they will achieve their highest potential.

There is one application for all of Indspire’s bursaries, scholarships, and awards (with a few exceptions). Students only need to complete the application once to be considered for all applicable bursaries, scholarships, and awards.  Visit www.indspire.ca for scholarship deadlines and information.

Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program is helping students realize their educational dreams. The following are recent student testimonials about how Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program is helping them through their educational journey.

Jerry Johnathan-Shawada: I would like to thank you for donating to me and my struggles through school. I have been struggling to pay my bills lately and with all this craziness with the COVID-19. My school has shut down most of my courses and I have only a few online classes.

I’m not sure how this year will turn out but it is a hell of a lot easier with your donation. I won’t have to worry about having enough for rent until my lease is up and I can pay for the necessary actions I may need to stay in school if they continue to close mandatory program classes. Overall thank you for helping me through school and it really means a lot for us students during these weird times.

Maison Leitch: Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for your generous support. I will begin by sharing a little bit about myself: I am a Métis first-year medical student at the University of Alberta set to graduate in 2023. So far, the experience has been incredibly fulfilling. I love learning medicine and have been able to maintain a high standard of academic performance. I am involved as a member of the Indigenous Medical and Dental Student’s Association, and co-leader of the Medical Student’s Mountaineering Club.

A career in medicine was always a dream of mine so I was ecstatic to receive an acceptance letter last May. However, this good news did not come without its worries. I was able to work my way through the previous degree and come out debt-free. Due to the greater time-commitment of studying medicine, the outcome would involve incurring a great deal of student debt; otherwise, I would need to prioritize work over studies to stay in the black. The bursary has greatly reduced the financial burden; I am able to direct the bulk of my time and energies into learning medicine to a high standard.

When I am a practicing physician and have the financial means, I intend to give back so that future students can similarly benefit. Thank you again for the generous support; I am forever grateful. Merci beaucoup!

Mariah Mazer: I am a fourth-year, Metis nursing student at the University of Alberta. Caring for people is my passion and I am so grateful to have the opportunity pursue an education in a career that I love. I am especially passionate about using my personal experience and knowledge to address health disparities experienced by indigenous people.

In the future, I will use my education to continue to give back to the community. It has been a great blessing to go to school. Generous donors and Indspire make it financially possible for me to pursue an education, and for that I am eternally grateful. When I graduate, I will use my knowledge of the health disparities experienced by Indigenous peoples and leadership abilities to advocate for changes in policies and programs that will allow more culturally sensitive care. When I graduate, I will donate to programs such as Indspire so in the future, Metis people can have the same opportunity I did to pursue their ambitions and aren’t restricted by any sort of financial hardship.

For more information visit www.indspire.ca



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