Recognizing outstanding career achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in diverse occupations, the 2009 Aboriginal Achievement Awards were aired on Global TV March 21. The 16th annual awards ceremony gala was held in Winnipeg and hosted by Tina Keeper and Adam Beach.

This year’s recipients are:

1.    The Rev. Stan Cuthand, B.Th., Little Pine First Nation, SK – Lifetime Achievement Award

2.    Chelsea Lavallée, Southwest Region Métis Manitoba Region – Special Youth Award

3.     Melanie Jackson, Sakimay First Nation, SK – Arts (shared)

4.    Dennis Jackson, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, SK – Arts (shared)

5.    Allan McLeod, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, MB – Business & Commerce

6.    Stephen Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation, NB – Culture, Heritage & Spirituality

7.    Cecil King, Wikwemikong, ON – Education

8.    Gordon W. Prest, Sto:Lo Nation, BC – Environment & Natural Resources

9.    Candace Grier-Lowe, Norway House First Nation, MB – Health

10.    Delia Opekokew, Canoe Lake Cree Nation, SK. – Law & Justice

11.    Carol Morin, Sandy Bay, SK – Media & Communications

12.    Paul Okalik, Iqaluit, NU – Politics

13.    Joan Glode, Acadia First Nation, NS – Public Service

14.    Adam Sioui, Huron Wendat First Nation, QC – Sports

15.    Mervin J. Dewasha, Wahta Mohawk Territory, ON – Technology & Trades

The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation is non-profit groups dedicated to helping Aboriginal peoples, particularly youth, achieve their full potential in life. Since 1985 the Foundation, through its Education Program, has awarded more than $32 million in scholarships and bursaries to more than 8,400 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students nationwide.