2017 Spirit Award Recipients, Take a Stand

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Recipient Take a Stand: Kaeden Seburn, Lisgar Collegiate Institute

Kaeden is a key member of the student Rainbow Alliance at Lisgar Collegiate Institute and has worked tirelessly on issues of equity and inclusive education in order to educate others on issues of gender & sexuality. Kaeden has worked to create presentations for our physical education classes, has spoken to their school staff about unpacking gender, and advocate for the creation of a Grade 9 co-ed physical education classes. They have also worked at the school district level in organizing LGBTQ+ literary resources for schools, co-presented to school staff meetings, run workshops at the OCDSB Rainbow Youth Forum, and organized guest speakers for schools. Kaeden has also dedicated their time to help the Ten Oaks Project, a summer camp for transgendered youth and families. Kaeden provides student voice in representing marginalized communities and has demonstrated respect, care and trust in sensitive matters. They uses their personal story to help empower other young people to think about issues of gender identity and to help create more accepting environments for students. Kaeden is not afraid to engage in courageous conversations in order to ensure that the safety and well-being of individuals around them are met.

Quote: “As a queer, trans & non-binary youth I recognize that I’m in a perfect position to create change.”

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Recipient Take a Stand: Theland Kicknosway, Sir Winston Churchill Public School

At only 14 years of age, this Pottawatami Cree youth from Walpole Island is already a trusted Indigneous leader in Ottawa. Theland is a traditional drummer, singer & hoop dancer who has performed at numerous high-profile events, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in addition to providing testimony as a youth impacted by the intergenerational impacts of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. He performed at PM Trudeau’s inauguration and with famed group A Tribe Called Red and has been featured on Grammy-nominated songs. Theland shares Creator’s gifts with the community at Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS)’s annual ceremonies in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirits (MMIWG2S). He’s also associated with Kizhaay Anishannabe Niin – I am a Kind Man, a community-based group of Indigenous men and youth working to end violence towards women & girls. He also participates in Boys with Braids, a community space for young men to share teachings about the sacredness of hair, foster a sense of pride in Indigenous culture, and raise awareness about bullying in schools. Theland will be embarking on the 3rd annual Theland’s Journey, a walk from Ottawa to the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi for MMIWG2S and their children. He’s a powerful role model with considerable talent that astonishes many.

Quote: “Theland will be embarking on the 3rd Theland’s Journey, a walk for MMIWG2S and their children.”