A London-based Indigenous organization is calling on Ontarians to nominate a person who has made a difference in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.
Atlohsa’s Peace Awards will recognize eight individuals whose work in any field, from the arts to business to education, has inspired social change.
It’s the third year the Indigenous-led non-profit has recognized community members. Organizers saying this year, the acknowledgement of leadership is more important than ever.
“These awards represent the heart of social change. It is especially important to recognize these efforts during these most challenging times by coming together as a community to celebrate the accomplishments of those who work so hard for the greater good,” said Alana Lees, director of development at Atlohsa Family Healing Services.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can be nominated, so long as they’re from Ontario.
Previous winners include Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, who married a non-Indigenous man and lost her status.
She fought to change the Indian Act to allow woman to keep their status, regardless of who they married.
There is also an opportunity for a young person under the age of 25 to be recognized through the “Rising Star” award.
Last year, it was given to River Christie-White, a hoop dancer and advocate for Indigenous children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
As a boy, he was diagnosed and didn’t speak until he was 8-years old but has since gone one to raise funds and awareness about the impact of Indigenous culture and autism on youth.
Nominations close Oct. 25 with the winners announced at a virtual gala Dec. 10.
Tickets sold to the event will help support Atlohsa’s Zhaawanong 24-hr Emergency Women’s Shelter in London, which provides safety for women and children at risk of violence, abuse and homelessness.