Indspire Monthly e-Newsletter | May 2021
Within a generation, every Indigenous student will graduate.
Summer Is Almost Here! While the weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, lots of exciting things are happening here at Indspire. We all look forward to the cool events and opportunities we have planned – so read on, and check it out!
Congratulations to our 2021 Indspire Laureates 

This month Indspire announced the twelve recipients of the 2021 Indspire Awards. These outstanding Indigenous professionals and youth come from a diverse list of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Each has demonstrated outstanding national career achievements in a variety of fields including: Youth Recipients; Business & Commerce; Culture, Heritage & Spirituality; Public Service; Sports; Law & Justice; Education; Arts; Health; and Lifetime Achievement. We are all so proud of their accomplishments. For full bios on each of the recipients, please click the button below.
Watch and Win!

During May, we also announced award-winning director and producer Jennifer Podemski as the new executive producer of the Indspire Awards. In the past, the Awards have been presented during an in-person gala ceremony, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a change of approach to a new virtual format.

You can catch the special broadcast of the 2021 Indspire Awards on Tuesday, June 22 at 8 p.m. ET (8:30p.m. NT). For a chance to win a business class trip for two anywhere in the world that Air Canada flies, you can register your Watch Party using the button below.
Soaring Soared

We are thrilled that Indspire’s Soaring: Indigenous Youth Empowerment Gathering was even more successful than we anticipated after moving to an online virtual platform.

From May 5-6, Indigenous students from across Canada gathered to explore post-secondary and career options, workshops and informative spotlight sessions. This two-day event saw over 950+ attendees and featured the charismatic host Stan Wesley, who kept everyone laughing and engaged. Highlights included high-energy performances by Shina Nova and Logan Staats as well as insights from notable career panelists Ashley Callingbull and Kendal Netmaker. 

Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who could not – don’t worry! Soaring 2022 will be back again next year in Edmonton, and hopefully we’ll see you all in person then.
Rivers to Success (R2S) is looking toward the end of its very successful first year, with over 1000 active participants in the R2S program!

Facilitated through an online Portal, the R2S program features an innovative blend of one-on-one and group Indigenous mentorship as well as a wide array of customized and cultural resources to help Indigenous students succeed, organized in three streams:

  1.  High School – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students in Grs. 10-12
  2. Post-Secondary – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students pursuing post-secondary studies OR Gr. 12 students who have been accepted to post-secondary studies after high school graduation
  3. Career Transition – for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students preparing to graduate and begin their careers
Highlights Include:
Greg Monias Talks Mentorship

R2S’s very own Greg Monias was featured in the MentorCity blog in their Power Mentoring Highlights! He shared some quality insights about the power of mentorship, discussing his experience with the MentorCity portal and how it has allowed the R2S community to grow.
Building Your Brand (Interview/Networking) with Cathy Lund

The very first event of the new R2S Career Transition Series on May 27 at 4:00 pm EDT will be an insightful look at how to build your own personal brand in a career-development context, with good guidance from Cathy Lund, Indigenous Career Consultant at the University of Manitoba.
Check out the great events we’ve planned for June! We hope you’ll join us.

Stay tuned for:
Career Transition Workshops

Do you know an Indigenous student who’s looking to move from studying to working this year? Let them know about R2S’s new Career Transition series! Guest Career Advising Professionals will deliver weekly one-hour workshops on timely and relevant career-related topics, including: resume and cover letter writing, self-assessment strategies, effective networking, interview preparation and job search strategies…and more!

2SLGBTQ Pride Celebration and Summer Solstice Wrap-Up Celebration

We’re getting ready to celebrate the end of our first fantastic year with a Summer Solstice Wrap-Up Celebration on June 17 at 4:00 pm EDT – and we’d like to invite you to join us for an amazing 2SLGBTQ+ Pride Celebration on June 29 at 3:00 pm EDT, with fabulous presentations and performances by Teddy Syrette and Lacey Hill!
Do you want to share our journey as an Indigenous mentor – or do you know of an Indigenous student who would benefit from the R2S program? Come and visit us here

Have questions or want to know more about the R2S program? Email us at or visit us at
Big things are emerging from Indspire’s Research Knowledge Nest! May marks the arrival of a new cohort of Research Assistants, with a new report full of insights about Indigenous learners coming in June – just in time for National Indigenous History Month!
Highlights include:
New Faces in the Nest

We’re excited to report that the very first cohort of Research Assistants has completed their tenure at the Research Nest and gone on to the next stage of their career journeys!

Felicia Sinclair, Josh Thomas, Kayleigh Wiebe and Whitney Wolfe were all instrumental in collating, analyzing, and drawing insights from data which served as the basis for multiple reports, including the forthcoming Following the Path report (more about this later!).

While it’s challenging to see them go, we’re also very happy to welcome the next cohort who have just begun their tenure at the RN: Jaiden Herkimer, Jeremy Lickers-Earle, Karsyn Summers, and Shawna D’Antimo. We’re poised to give them a warm Indspire welcome! 
Stay tuned for:
Following the Path Arrives in Time for National Indigenous History Month

The work of the first cohort of Research Assistants shines through every line of Following the Path, the insightful report which examines how Indigenous learners are doing in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally intended as a follow-up to Indspire’s 2018 Truth & Reconciliation in Post-Secondary Settings: Student Experience report, it features the voices of over 3000 recipients of Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards program.

Following the Path not only investigates how Indigenous students are feeling about truth & reconciliation on post-secondary campuses, it also listens to their experiences of pursuing education during a global pandemic. We’re eager to share its insights with the world. 

Watch this space for more information about the report’s release!
Have questions or want to know more about the Research Knowledge Nest? Email us at or visit us at
Miriam Imak

My name is Mariam Imak, I am a student at a post-secondary institution called Nunavik Sivunitsavut. This is my third year of Cegep and I am now in the program of my dreams that is tailored to Inuit culture and historical past from the Inuit perspectives. I am honored to have the chance to learn from fellow Inuit. 
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