Honourable Mention - Noah A.
Noah is a grade eleven student in British Columbia. He loves people, works hard and has a positive attitude towards whatever task he takes on. Last year Noah led his class in completing a very special project to honour those impacted by the Residential School System. The Grizzly Bear Box of Hope--a bentwood box topped with carved grizzly bear statue—was created and chosen to depict the past, present, and future effects of the Indian Residential schools. Noah and his classmates created the Grizzly Bear Box of Hope as a symbol of mutual respect to promote equity, care, and education to all Aboriginal children in Canada.
Noah and three classmates were chosen to travel to Ottawa to participate in the 2013 Our Dreams Matter Too walk and present the Grizzly Bear Box of Hope on Parliament Hill. On June 11, Noah lead his class in a powerful speech spoken in both English and his Native Language Smalygaz, offering the Grizzly Bear Box to the people of Canada as a symbol of hope and fairness. Noah is also involved in the Me to We Stand Up group at his school. The group works to help deal with issues of bullying and equity. Noah participated in a two day seminar to empower him with the leadership skills required to build and promote a positive and inclusive school climate.
Staff at Noah’s school say; “Noah is to be commended for his role in improving life opportunities for his peers and inspiring others to do the same.” Noah has a strong sense of pride and humility as well as possesses a deep respect for his ancestry and culture. He is a leader within his school and community promoting equity for all children and acts as an ambassador for First Nations youth to look up to and aspire to be.
The Grizzly Bear Box of Hope is cared for and on display at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa.