Past Recipients2018-11-19T10:17:14-06:00


Erik Mandawe (ᐱᔦᓯᐊᐧᐠ) comes from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta, and has lived all over Turtle Island. He’s previously earned an Honours BSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Toronto (2010), going on to work in mental health in urban and rural Indigenous communities. He later returned to school to pursue his passion for arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Western University (2017), earning the UWO Gold Medal, graduating with the highest grade-point-average in his program. He is a Sundancer in the Rattlechild Sundance Lodge, and is currently a medical student in the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University (2021).

Erik Mandawe

2017 Male Recipient

Kayla Cardy is a 22-year-old Anishinaabe woman who grew up in Kenora, ON and is a member of Naotkamegwanning First Nation. She is a recent BAH Psychology-Sociology graduate from Queen’s University and is currently in the first year of her Master of Social Work degree at University of Toronto. Upon completion of her MSW, she intends to do community-level work to better understand the strengths and needs of the populations she will be working with. She has the ultimate goal to pursue a career as a social policy analyst, focusing on issues that impact Indigenous peoples and our way of life.

Kayla Cardy

2017 Female Recipient

Quinn Meawasige is 23 years young, is from Serpent River First Nation and is currently in his 2nd year of his 4-year Community and Economic and Social Development Degree at Algoma University. Quinn was elected as the youngest Council member ever to serve a term on Chief and Council in his community’s history from 2012-2014. Quinn is also a member of a regional and a provincial First Nation youth council and recently transitioned out of a national First Nations youth council position. Through advocacy, lobbying and grassroots organizing, Quinn works to improve the quality and standard of living for Indigenous Youth across Canada and Turtle Island (North America).

Quinn Meawasige

2016 Male Recipient

Meghan Young is an Anishinaabe-Metis woman from Owen Sound. She is of the miskwaadesi (painted turtle) clan. She recently completed the one-year Honors Bachelor of Social Work program at Lakehead University in Orillia, and has returned to Lakehead to complete her Masters in Social Work. Meghan is passionate about Indigenous issues, and focuses on integrating Anishinaabe language and culture into her social work practice. Meghan enjoys traveling, and has a personal goal to visit 30 countries by the time she is 30. She also enjoys spending time and playing cribbage with her grandmother.

Meghan Young

2016 Female Recipient

“Pursuing an education in the present time should be the focus of more of our Anishinaabeg to securing a better tomorrow for our families and to our communities.”

Julian Jordan resides in Kenora, Ontario with his wife and young family.  Julian is a graduate of the Canadian Armed Forces Bold Eagle Program, earned his Private Pilot’s License through the First Nations Technical Institute, and recently attained his Business Fundamentals Certificate through Seven Generations Education Institute.  This year he is enrolled in the Aboriginal Finance and Economic Planning diploma program at Oshki-Pimachi-Owin in Thunder Bay, ON. Julian keeps his focus on “building a better tomorrow for myself, my family, and my people” through sobriety, family life, and continuous learning of Anishinaabe traditions, and language. He enjoys going to pow wows, fishing, hunting and boating.

Julian Jordan

2015 Male Recipient

“I work hard to live a healthy lifestyle by not using drugs and alcohol, attending ceremonies, pow wows, singing and sharing my story with youth.”

Paige Restoule is enrolled in the Masters of Environmental Studies program at Nipissing University where her thesis will focus on the importance of medicinal plants and land-based activities for Aboriginal youth.  Ms. Restoule is the lead community-based researcher for the Working to Protect Our Water project in Dokis First Nation and chair of her community’s Cultural Committee. She graduated from Trent University with her Honors in Psychology and a minor in Indigenous Studies,  Paige encourages other youth to live in ‘mino bimaadiziiwin’, a good way, by her example.

Paige Restoule

2015 Female Recipient

“I carry good teachings, a good mind and a good heart.”

Brandon Petahtegoose, whose spirit name is Manidozhiiwaaskwine (“Bright Spirit”) belongs to the Elk Clan from Atikameksheng Anishinawbek. As an Anishinaabe youth, he was always told that one day that he was going to have to carry out the work of keeping our culture and our people strong, as his ancestors worked so hard to keep those things alive for himself. In his day-to-day living in Peterborough, completing his fourth year of study, he does just that. Brandon is always sharing the knowledge that was passed on to him and he’s become a speaker, speaking at various events, meetings and conferences. Brandon is currently a youth representative on the Council of Elders for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Brandon hosts cultural teachings and workshops at Trent with the Trent University Native Association, where he is also the main pow wow coordinator for this year. He is a dancer, and a singer. Brandon has an immense passion to teach others about his culture. He is also a very proud new father of to his son, Biiwaabik-Giniw.

Brandon Petahtegoose

2014 Male Recipient

“Continuing my education helps me strive towards accomplishments and goals that I never dreamed of having.”

Laura is a second year student who is taking a major in Communications and a minor in Indigenous Studies. she is part of a drum group named Spirit Flowers along with four other young Indigenous women. Her spirit name is Standing Horse and she belongs to the bear clan. Laura is an activist and a strong advocate who speaks out towards violence against women. She is currently employed as an Aboriginal High School Mentor and in the winter she will be starting a new job as an Aboriginal Recruitment Officer at Carleton University. Laura’s knowledge of traditional teachings and Indigenous practices has enabled her to overcome adversities, empower myself and take pride in my culture.

Laura Gagnon

2014 Female Recipient