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Keewaywin Award Winners

Monday August 25, 2014
Mike Hunter Jr., Weenusk First Nation
NAN Elder Recognition award
Chief Sonny Gagnon, Aroland First Nation
Emile Nakogee Award for Outstanding Leadership
Sabrina Angeconeb, Bearskin Lake First Nation
NAN Youth Award - Athletic
Robyn Archibald, Taykwa Tagamou Nation
NAN Youth Award – Academic
Dobi-Dawn Frenette, Couchiching First Nation
NAN Staff Award
Keisha Saige Iahtail, Attawapiskat First Nation
NAN Youth Award - Leadership/Community Involvement
Kenina Kakekayash, North Caribou Lake First Nation
NAN Woman Award

Sabrina Angeconeb is one you won’t find sitting around on the couch watching television.
Angeconeb is a strong believer of living an active and healthy lifestyle and has a goal to be a role model and inspire young athletes.
Angeconeb has competed in the Ontario Federation Secondary Schools Athletics in both volleyball and track and field events. She has competed regionally and provincially in biathlon when she was in the Army Cadets.
Angeconeb is a member of their All-Star Volleyball Team for Thunder Bay high schools and is rated as one of the top six players in Thunder Bay. Angeconeb also competed at the North American Indigenous Games in July and was on the Team Ontario Under-19 volleyball team. Angeconeb has also been named captain of the Superior North Volleyball Club Under-17 team back in 2013. They competed at the Indoor Volleyball Nationals.
Angeconeb has also been nominated as Athlete of the Year for her involvement in sports, and was named MVP for the Superior North Volleyball Club two years in a row.
When Angeconeb is not competing, she volunteers with a youth group to fundraise for Shelter House and local food drives.
Currently, Angeconeb is travelling with her high school touring London, Ireland and Wales.

Robyn Archibald is living proof that learning disabilities don’t define who you are.
Archibald has had to overcome many obstacles in her academic career, but through her hard work and dedication she has reached very high levels of success and achievements.
At her Grade 8 graduation, Archibald was recognized for having the highest marks in English, history, and geography. Recently, Archibald has graduated from Grade 12 with honours. She received the Friends of the Community Scholarship and was honoured as the award-winner for Apitisawin.
Archibald is recognized as a leader and a role model for her peers, and is an inspiration for the importance of education.

NAN’s Director of education secretariat Dobi-Dawn Frenette has proven she is committed to the education and treaty rights for First Nations.
Frenette has worked with NAN for eight years. Frenette is a tireless worker, and goes above and beyond her job at all hours of the day and night.
Frenette’s has earned respect from her peers, government counterparts and colleagues with her strong work ethic and professionalism. She has led NAN to address threats to education funding for students across NAN territory, and organized a critical education summit for Chief-in-Assembly to address proposed federal legislation on First Nation education.
Frenette is also a strong advocate for NAN youth and has made a tremendous amount of effort to secure services for students. She also serves as liaison for students who experience difficulties with area school boards.

Aroland Chief Sonny Gagnon is committed to his community.
Resource development has always been important to Gagnon. Poverty, sickness, and social issues has been a result of natural resources being extracted and Gagnon has been reaching out to other First Nations to help address individual community issues when negotiating with industry and government on resource development.
Gagnon believes this can bring economic benefits to First Nations, but he sees a need for oversight and protection of the environment for more generations.
Gagnon has also tackled a variety of issues within the community, such as housing, health, education and child welfare. Gagnon is on the board of directors for Tikinagan Children and Family Services. Gagnon also passionate about the preservation of language and culture, and makes sure the Ojibway language is evident in every aspect of school life.

Mike Hunter Jr. has been through a lot in his life, but that doesn’t stop him from doing anything.
When he was a child, he had tuberculosis and was sent to Toronto from ages seven to 14 for treatment. Hunter then ventured back to his homeland and was a hunter, fisher, and trapper. He also worked at the military base in Winisk as a mechanic and was elected chief of his community in his early 20s.
He helped in the development of the Wawatay Native Communications Society. He remains as the longest-serving active board member.
He helped form Payukotayno: James and Hudson Bay Family Services, which helps keep children in their communities.
After his exciting and successful career in politics, he worked as a Conservation Officer monitoring animal populations until his retirement at age 75. Hunter continues to fish, hunt, and trap and continues to mentor youth about life on the land.

Keisha Saige Iahtail has always had the motivation and encouragement to help her achieve her goals.
She was taught her to be responsible, keep her beliefs strong, and to pursue her education, with the help of her mother, and she did just that.
Iahtail has constantly been recognized as an outstanding student. During her high school career she received the Honour Roll in Grade 9 and the Principal’s Honour Roll in Grades 10 and 11.
While Iahtail was attending high school in Timmins, she struggled being away from her home, but continued with it because she believed it was for her and her future. During her last year she returned home and finished at Vezina Secondary School, and received the Outstanding Graduate Award, Outstanding Cree Language Award, Female Best Average over the Course of their Career Award, Best Graduate Overall Mark Award, Shannen Koostachin Memorial Award and the Outstanding Improvement/Supporting Fellow Students Award.
Iahtail is close to completing her most notable accomplishment to date: becoming a helicopter pilot. Iahtail is currently attending the Essential Aviation Program in North Bay.

As a child, Kenina Kakekayash had two dreams: to become an Aboriginal radio broadcaster and a teacher.
Kakekayash started her career in Wawatay in 1979 as the “Translataphone” operator, which provided translations for NAN communities. It wasn’t until 1983 when her dream had finally come true when the Wawatay Radio Network (WRN) was established. Kakekayash has not only helped with the WRN expansion, but she has also served as advisor to the provincial government’s Community Radio Ontario Program. She also served in management from 1991 until her son suffered a brain injury in 2006.
Currently, Kakekayash produces Wawatay’s first-ever series for women and is an active volunteer in the Sioux Lookout community. She has strong communication skills in Oji-Cree and English, and is respected by all who work with her.

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