Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 20, 2002 - Issue 59


pictograph divider


A Night of Honour - A Night of Entertainment - 2002 National Aboriginal Achievement Awards on CBC Television


Noel KnockwoodTORONTO - On Tuesday, April 16th at 8:00 pm on CBC Television, 14 outstanding Aboriginal heroes took centre stage to receive a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Aboriginal community's highest honour.

Produced by Mohawk conductor John Kim Bell and the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, fourteen of Canada's most powerful Aboriginal role models were honoured.

"The message of these awards for young Aboriginal people - is they can go as far as they want in politics, science, business or the arts, if they set goals and stay focused," said John Kim Bell, the executive producer and founder of the awards. "And for Canada, the award recipients show that it is possible to be Aboriginal and to be successful in this country", said Bell.

The achievers are an inspiring group of men and women ranging from a family physician to a business executive with one of Canada's oldest corporations to three outstanding visual artists, to a young hockey player who is the first Inuk to be drafted into the NHL.

This night of honour features performances by Canada's top Aboriginal performing artists, performing against a powerful artistic set designed by Mr. Bell. Interspersed between the sensational performances, the glittering evening features video vignettes of the lives and accomplishments of this year's achievers.

Taped at the Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, comedian Don Burnstick hosts an evening boasting an eye-popping, colourful set of stained glass cathedral windows, three giant Aboriginal faces carved into a cliff, fluttering butterflies, a huge snake and turtle set against flowers and wildlife.

The line-up includes a a sensational opening number by Tamara Podemski an up and coming performer of stage and screen last seen in the New York production of Rent. Coloratura soprano Minda Forcier using her lyrical voice to sing Leonard Bernstein's Glitter and Be Gay from Candide. B.C. blues performer, George Leach who rocks the show with a blistering performance of Young Enough. And, Ms. Fortier who will again show off her voice for the closing number, where she performs with baritone Carey Newman in a sensational duo of Just Show Me How to Love You.

The 2002 National Aboriginal Achievement Award recipients are a valiant group of men and women. The video vignettes will feature the stories of these brave men and women who have touched the lives of many and left a legacy of extraordinary lives lived. This year's recipients are:

  • Cape Dorset carver Ohito Ashoona;
  • Fort Liard leader and entrepreneur Harry Deneron;
  • North West coast artist and carver Freda Diesing;
  • Winnipeg based VP of The North West Company Leonard G. Flett;
  • Alberta based energy expert Roy Fox;
  • Former Concordia University, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Gail Guthrie Valaskakis;
  • Alberta artist and painter, and this year's lifetime achievement award recipient, Alex Janvier;
  • Retired Inuit broadcaster Jonah Kelly;
  • Nova Scotia elder and lecturer Noel Knockwood;
  • Land claims negotiator and Métis leader George Kurszewski;
  • Canadian track and field giant, and business consultant Michael Nepinak;
  • Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton;
  • Winnipeg family physician and educator Dr. Gilles Pinette;
  • Inuk hockey star and this year's youth recipient Jordin Tootoo.

The Doggone Weakbacks, 1975, by Alex JanvierThe National Aboriginal Achievement Awards were created in 1994 by John Kim Bell to recognize outstanding career achievements by Aboriginal professionals of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ancestry. Since the awards began 126 achievers have been recognized.

"The awards generate tremendous pride across Canada and express the tremendous talent and skill which resides in the Aboriginal community. The awards are Canada's most positive and significant effort to dispel stereotypes and promote greater harmony between Aboriginal people and all Canadians," said John Kim Bell, the Founder, President and Executive Producer of the awards.

The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards are a project of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, a nationally registered charity established in 1985 by John Kim Bell. The Foundation has provided $12 million in scholarships to Aboriginal students enrolled in universities and colleges across the country where they are enrolled to further their education.

National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is a nationally registered charitable organization created in 1985 by Mohawk conductor and composer John Kim Bell. Now entering its 17th year, the Foundation has fulfilled educational dreams for Aboriginal youth, placed the importance of education and the abilities of Aboriginal people into the forefront, and built an organization that is financially sound.
Winnipeg, MB Map
Maps by Travel

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!