June 23, 2016. The 2016 Indspire Awards gala will be broadcast Friday evening on APTN and Global TV. It will feature performances by Indigenous talent from across Canada including Murray Porter, Stephanie Harpe, Jace Martin, Shawnee, and Spakwus Slulem of the Squamish Nation. Co-hosts for the celebration are Evan Adams (of Smoke Signals) and Aboriginal People’s Choice Award-winning pop artist Inez Point. Two recipients of the 2016 Indspire Awards hail from Alberta. Foothills Ojibway First Nation Chief Jim Ochiese won in the category of Culture, Heritage and Spirituality. Ochiese, a professor, was instrumental in achieving the right for First Nations people to use Jasper National Park - their traditional land - for ceremony and medicine gathering, after being prohibited from doing so since 1907. Christian Kowalchuk, from Big Stone Cree Nation, is the First Nation youth recipient. Kowalchuk joined the Arkansas Razorbacks coaching staff while completing his master's in physical education, achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA at the University of Arkansas. In 2013, he helped the baseball team reach the regional playoffs and in 2015, the College World Series. The jury for the Indspire Awards is composed of previous Award recipients, representing a range of sectors and regions across the country. From hundreds of nominations, the jury selects 10 career achievement award recipients, three youth award recipients (First Nation, Inuit and Métis), and one lifetime achievement recipient.
Indspire Award winners in 13 categories - 10 career achievement award recipients, three youth award recipients (First Nation, Inuit and Métis) – and one lifetime achievement recipient will be recognized in a televised gala. (Photo: Indspire)