The 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport were presented this evening to eight outstanding Aboriginal youth athletes from British Columbia’s Fraser Region. The Awards were presented by Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, during a formal celebration held at the Kwantlen Cultural Centre. The Fraser region is the third of the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council’s six regions to honour Aboriginal athletes through this prestigious province-wide awards program.
The Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in September 2016, receiving more than 130 nominations from across the province for Aboriginal athletes under 25 years of age who have achieved excellence in performance sport, are regarded for their leadership qualities, are committed to higher education, and are recognized as community role models both on and off the field of play.
A total of 47 recipients were chosen within the Partners Council’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.
The 2016 Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport – Fraser Regional Recipients
- Corey Stewart, age 24, Para Kayaking, Nisga’a and Tsimshian Nations
- Hunter Lang, age 15, Softball, Ts’Kw’aylaxw First Nation
- Joel Harrison, age 17, Soccer, Metis Nation BC
- Mateya Haintz, age 15, Track and Field, Hwlitsum First Nation
- Keegan Charlie, age 16, Soccer, Sts’ailes and Musqueam Nations
- Sadie Baird, age 15, Soccer, Tsawwassen First Nation
- Kieran McKay, age 17, Lacrosse, Michel First Nation
- Shalaya Valenzuela, age 17, Rugby, Tseshaht First Nation
“In British Columbia, we are proud of our strong First Nations heritage,” said Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. “The Premier’s Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport are a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the skills and talents of great athletes among Aboriginal youth in the Fraser region and throughout the province.”
“We have a history of honouring young athletes here in the Fraser Region,” said Cheryl Charlie, Fraser Regional Lead for the Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Partners Council. “I am honoured to take part in this celebration. Not only are we recognizing the athletic achievements of these youth, but we’re honouring the dedication and commitment it takes to live healthy lifestyles; to play a meaningful role in communities; and to take pride in who they are.”
These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards. A total of 12 Provincial Awards (six male and six female) will be selected in January. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices National Aboriginal Youth Conference in Kelowna March 21 – 24, 2017.
Throughout November the three remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2016 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.