Saturday, February 25, 2012

National Aboriginal Achievement Award Recipients for 2012 (Part I)

Media & Communications

Richard Wagamese

National Aboriginal Awards celebrate homegrown achievement

~ Gala event to honour five British Columbians

by Kim Pemberton; published 02/17/2012

Richard Wagamese has experienced practically every element that makes up the story of many first nations people: cultural displacement, foster care, homelessness, residential school abuse, incarceration and alcoholism.

But the 56-year-old overcame all of those struggles and went on to become an award-winning author, journalist and motivational speaker. His story will soon include receiving a National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

The gala on Feb. 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre will see 15 NAAA’s handed out — with five to go to British Columbians.

Kamloops-based Wagamese said he’s honoured to receive the award but what matters more to him is the message it sends to aboriginal youth.

“Naturally, I’m proud to have worked my way through all of [those past struggles] but what it means to First Nations youth is what I’m most excited about. For youth to have the opportunity to see people like myself and hear their stories. I’ve had to battle to find success and peace and pride in my identity. But the teaching is if they dream big and freely, there’s all kinds of opportunities in this country,” he said.

Wagamese will be awarded for his achievements in media and communications. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, columnist, radio producer, broadcaster, documentary producer and is the author of One Native Life, which the Globe and Mail listed as one of its best 100 books of the year in 2008. He was also the first aboriginal Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for his work as a columnist.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Note: Richard Wagamese has worked as a columnist, reporter and features writer for newspapers across Canada and has published a number of poetry books and novels as well as a memoir.

In 1991, he became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing for a piece that appeared in the Calgary Herald.

Reference links:
- Richard Wagamese's Website @,
- Richard Wagamese - Ojibway Author /Facebook/,
- National Aboriginal Awards celebrate homegrown achievement /Vancouver Sun/,
- Richard Wagamese, Keeper’n Me /The Manitoba Historical Society/,
- Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese /The Globe and Mail/ ,
- Q and A: Richard Wagamese on being homeless /FFWD/.

Reference posts:
One Native Life,
Indians and the just society,
Richard Wagamese about Norval Morrisseau &
- National Aboriginal Achievement Awards /Ref: Norval Morrisseau/. 

1 comment:

sandra said...

he's also a real good poet and inspirational story-teller