Photo Credit Thomas Camus, Camus Photography. (Back row) Hereditary Chief Bill Turner, Gitanmaax Chief Councillor, Tracey Woods, Verna Howard, FNHA, Chief Madeek, Wet'suwet'en, Amber Wells, 2017 Northwest Recipient, Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, DeWayne Robinson, I·SPARC Regional Lead, Northwest, Rick Brant, I·SPARC Executive Director, (Front row, Recipients) Jaimie Denny, Mackenzie Gladstone-Howard, Elie Morgan, Tyrell Harris, Honrei Morgan, Blaise Sakac, Dakota Price, Pasha Ormerod.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented last night to nine outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Northwest Region. The Awards were presented by during a formal celebration held at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Hall in Smithers, BC. The Northwest is the second of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.

I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August 2018, receiving nominations from across the province for Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport and committed to living healthy, active lifestyles.

A total of 47 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Northwest Regional Recipients

  • Blaise Sakac, age 15, Sailing, Gitxsan First Nation
  • Elie Morgan, age 16, Soccer, Gitsegukla
  • Dakota Price, age 14, Basketball, Volleyball, Nisga’a & Haida Nations
  • Tyrell Harris, age 15, Basketball, Gitanmaax
  • Pasha Ormerod, age 18, Volleyball Métis Nation, SK
  • Honrei Morgan, age 14, Soccer, Basketball, Gitsegukla
  • Jaimie Denny, age 16, Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Gitanmaax
  • Fraser Dodd, age 19, Soccer, Hockey, Lax-Kw’alaams
  • Mackenzie Gladstone-Howard, age 17, Basketball, Gitxsan, Gitsegukla

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” said Premier John Horgan. “It’s great to see these young champions achieving top results in such a wide variety of sports.”

“These talented young athletes are rising stars in their sports and role models in their communities,” said Minister Lisa Beare. “I hope these awards will encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams on and off the field of play.”

“I have been with I·SPARC for two years, in that time I have witnessed athletes in action in several sports throughout our region,” said DeWayne Robinson, Northwest Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “The recipients from our region have shown they deserve this prestigious award for their hard work, not only in their sport, but within their culture, communities and the education standards they hold for themselves. Their goals in life are set and achievable in becoming great leaders in the future.”

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 2019. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum in Port Alberni March 19-22, 2019.

Throughout November, the four remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2018 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.