OHSWEKEN – To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada established the Canada 150 Fund—selecting a few Canadian signature projects from thousands of applicants to participate in celebrations across Canada and to showcase events that are unique to the selected organizations.
Indspire was selected for its focus on supporting Indigenous education. Indspire received funding to showcase their Indspire Youth Laureates Cross Canada Tour, which will feature highly-interactive, youth-led panel discussions in seven Canadian cities – Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.
“Our vision is to enrich Canada through Indigenous education and by inspiring achievement,” Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO, Indspire.
The objective of the Tour is to encourage dialogue between Indspire Youth Award recipients and local Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, educators, parents and community members to reinforce the importance of education and to highlight how Indspire can help students achieve their dreams for a brighter future.
At each event, the Youth Laureate panelists will share motivational stories from their childhood, education, life challenges and post-graduate success. They will share stories on how Indspire supported them and encouraged them to dream big, move forward and create a better life. After the storytelling, the Q&A will create a highly interactive panel session geared towards Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.
The first tour will launch at the Indspire Soaring Career Conference to be held in Ottawa on March 23, 2017 at The Westin Hotel. Following the launch, there will be one tour held on a university campus each month (except for July and August) until November 2017, with the closing celebration to follow in conjunction with the Indspire National Gathering at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal.
In addition to funding from the Government of Canada, TransCanada Corporation is supporting the Tour as part of a series of initiatives in celebration of Canada’s 150th.
“As a company who has operated in Canada for over 65 years, we are proud to give back via organizations like Indspire who share our sense of purpose around creating lasting and positive impacts in communities through education,” says Kristine Delkus, Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and General Counsel, TransCanada. “As a long-time partner with Indspire, we feel our support of the Tour is a natural addition to our Canada 150 gift and we are very excited to play a small role in celebrating these incredible youths who have achieved so much.”
Additional support is being provided by Shaw Communications Inc. as Youth Laureate Sponsor, helping provide a platform for the Youth Laureates to share their inspiring personal experiences, while motivating and engaging the next generation of youth in a conversation about the importance of education.
Each event will start with a VIP reception for host sponsors, local government officials, school faculty, media, laureates, board members, the MC and Indspire staff and will allow for interview and photo opportunities prior to the panel discussion. Panel discussions will be approximately two hours long and will include a Q&A session.
Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education. Through the K-12 Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. In 2015-16, Indspire has provided $12.2 million through 3,792 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people that is broadcast nationally.