12 Alberta students recognized with 2020 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards

First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who model strength and commitment in the pursuit of their personal educational paths honoured in a special video celebration.


November 27, 2020, Edmonton, AB — Although unable to celebrate in-person this year, Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) produced a special video celebration, with remarks from dignitaries, to honour 12 student recipients of the Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards.

These awards offer the opportunity to celebrate exceptional First Nations, Métis and Inuit students nominated by members of their education communities, based on their exemplary leadership, courage, and commitment to their cultures and educational paths. ASBA received a total of 242 unique nomination letters and submissions from across the province.

Included in the video celebration were appearances from:

  • Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
  • Honourable Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
  • Honourable Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
  • Audrey Poitras, Métis Nation of Alberta President
  • Marlene Poitras, Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief
  • Lorrie Jess, President of ASBA


A special thanks to Elders and Knowledge Keepers from ASBA’s Indigenous Advisory Circle for their contributions and involvement with this award:

  • Sykes Powderface; Charlie Fox; Theresa Strawberry; Sharon Morin; Brenda Semantha; Dzinizi Guja, Sizi Valerie McDougall A’ta; and, Jenna Broomfield.


“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this video celebration in honour of our 12 student recipients. The unique and truly special stories we received from the nominators of recipients—and all nominees—from across Alberta serve as a powerful reminder of the strength of our young people in showing courage and leadership.”

Lorrie Jess, President, ASBA

The awards are presented annually to First Nations, Métis, or Inuit student nominees who attend a school in Alberta, either operated by an ASBA member school board or a First Nations Education Authority. For a background of this year’s awards, please click here.

2020 Award Recipients

  • Angel Applegarth, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Lucy Beaverbones, Hinton, Alberta
  • Sydney Cross, Calgary, Alberta
  • Alexis Desjarlais, Calgary, Alberta
  • Rayne Ducharme, Calgary, Alberta
  • Miranda Gilchrist-McCollum, Edmonton, Alberta
  • George Metacat-Yah, Fort McMurray, Alberta
  • Buffalo Rock Rain, Duffield, Alberta
  • Tayden Shott, Fort MacKay, Alberta
  • Del Smith Big Snake, Calgary, Alberta
  • Lakota Testawich¸ Brownvale, Alberta
  • Lucas Thompson, Fort McMurray, Alberta


Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) serves Alberta’s 61 locally-elected public, catholic and francophone school boards. 

Media inquiries:
Katy Campbell
Director of Communications, ASBA
780.451.7137 |