John Jeddore, a first-year medical student at Memorial University, has been selected to receive the Special Youth (First Nation) Award from the Indspire Institute. The Indspire Awards, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, recognize Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement.
At a reception on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Oct. 29, the recipients of the 2014 Indspire Awards were announced and acknowledged in the House of Commons by the Speaker, and received a standing ovation. The award ceremony itself will take place on March 21, in Winnipeg, Man., during a televised event.
Mr. Jeddore, who is a member of the Miawpukek First Nation, said he was chosen for his award for a number of reasons.
Among them were my work to keep the Mi'kmaq language strong among Aboriginal communities with social media and online videos, my post-secondary Aboriginal representation with the Canadian Federation of Students as provincial Aboriginal student representative, my work as a curator on the largest exhibition in production this year at the Husky Energy Gallery, as well as being the first person from my community to be accepted into medical school!
As a guide, photographer and cultural liaison with the Mikmaq Discovery centre, Mr. Jeddore aims to promote and preserve Mikmaq culture. He was guest curator for a large Aboriginal exhibition which opened in 2013 at The Rooms museum in St. Johns and wrote a monthly column called Traditional Voices. For the past year he has participated in Memorials Aboriginal Health Initiative program to work with elders on traditional lands and learn about ceremony and medicine.
The Indspire Awards were created in 1993, in conjunction with the United Nations International Decade of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples. These awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers, and they motivate and serve as invaluable role models for all Indigenous peoples.
Each year 14 recipients are selected by a national jury for their outstanding accomplishments in various disciplines. These recipients are then honoured at a nationally televised gala ceremony.
Our award recipients are the outstanding leaders in their fields, having made extraordinary contributions to their communities and to Canada, said Roberta Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire. We honour their accomplishments so those following in their footsteps will be inspired to fulfill their own great potential. By recognizing the early achievements of successful First Nation, Inuit and Métis youth, we are inspiring their peers to reach for the stars.