News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 23, 2023

Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards Honours 18 Young Manitobans for Outstanding Achievements in Volunteerism, Academics, Art and More

At its 29th annual ceremony, the Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards (MIYAA) celebrated exceptional Indigenous young people making a difference in our community, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Nello Altomare announced today. 

“I was thrilled to attend the awards ceremony and have the privilege of meeting Indigenous young people who are leaders in our community,” said Altomare. “I know these youth will be an inspiration to current and future generations for years to come.” 

The MIYAA ceremony was held last night at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre. The awards were founded in 1994 to combat negative stereotypes of Indigenous youth and celebrate their achievements. The awards honour Indigenous youth who exhibit high standards of dedication, excellence, leadership and accomplishment in various categories. 

“These award winners bring inspirational messages as they break barriers to achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Helen Robinson-Settee, co-chair, MIYAA, and director of the Manitoba government’s Indigenous Inclusion Directorate. “They motivate other youth as they deliver heartfelt messages to the community.” 

This year, 18 recipients were selected to receive Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards in the following categories:

  • academic senior – Brendan Tait;
  • academic junior – Grace Little;
  • athletic senior – Colby Bear;
  • athletic junior – Marcus McKay;
  • community/volunteerism senior – Gabrielle Fontaine;
  • community/volunteerism junior – Carman Patchinose-Bushie;
  • cultural female – Jaidyn Gosek;
  • cultural male – Malaki Kennedy;
  • personal achievement senior – Sienna Henderson-Seenie;
  • personal achievement junior – Sunshine Lavasseur; artistic visual – Honey Flett-Frampton;
  • artistic performance – Sequoya Handel;
  • health (north) – Anaka Toews;
  • health (south) – Steven Quill;
  • Linda Park Memorial Award for business/entrepreneur – John Lodge;
  • employment in a traditional field – Josiah Parenteau; and
  • James Golick Grant for women in computology – Serenity Gerhardt and Quinn (Kiera) Davis. 

MIYAA recipients are chosen by a committee of Indigenous youth from the community. Since their inception, 378 awards have been presented along with thousands of dollars in scholarships, which have been provided through many sponsors. More than 1,600 Manitobans have attended the MIYAA award ceremonies. 

The recipient of the cultural male award, Malaki Kennedy, was nominated by Julie Delorme, Indigenous graduation support teacher, Winnipeg School Division. Next year, Kennedy plans to join the Bold Eagle program, a Canadian Armed Forces summer training program that combines Indigenous culture and teachings with military training, to help develop valuable skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, time management, respect and fitness. Kennedy noted he was so happy to be recognized for this honour and when he received the call about the award, he said, “Holy Creator, I can’t believe I won something.”  

For more information on the MIYAA and the awards schedule, visit

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