The Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards (MIYAA) honour the accomplishments of Indigenous youth from across Manitoba. MIYAAs are awarded to 18 outstanding individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who exhibit high standards of excellence in categories ranging from cultural to academic. The winners of the awards are chosen by a committee of Indigenous youth from the community.
Erin Anderson-Bruce: Artistic Visual
Erin, a student at Windsor Park Collegiate (WPC) from Poplar River First Nation, won the Artistic Visual category and will be presented her award during a virtual celebration on March 25. Watch the event.
Erin’s artwork focuses on the topics of nature, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the surreal. She primarily works with paint, drawing mediums and digitally.
“Erin’s attention to detail while adding her creative spin to the artwork she creates is far beyond grade level. She is a passionate artist that has and continues to make all of us at WPC proud,” said Denise Miller, Art Specialist at WPC.
Emily Mandamin: Athletic
Emily, a former Dakota Collegiate Institute (DCI) student from Iskatewizaagegan First Nation, won one of two awards in the Athletic category and was celebrated on January 28. Watch the event.
Emily attended DCI in grades 9 and 10 before moving to Toronto to play in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association. Last year, she won a full-ride basketball scholarship to Highland College in Illinois.
“Emily is one of the smartest basketball players I’ve had the opportunity to coach. She was always thinking a couple of plays ahead and making the adjustments needed for our team to be successful. Emily has always been a great teammate but, more importantly, a role model in our community,” said Eric Sung, head basketball coach at DCI.
Both Erin and Emily were members of the Louis Riel School Division's Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (IYLP) which provides mentoring and guidance to adults and students from across the division.
Emma-Leigh Guay: Women in Technology
Emma-Leigh, a student at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate (NMC) from Mosakahiken Cree Nation, will take home a Women in Technology award and scholarship. She will be celebrated on May 27. Throughout her time at NMC, Emma-Leigh has shown a strong interest and aptitude in technology. She hopes to pursue a degree in computer science and her dream is to develop interactive games that incorporate Indigenous culture. While in the Propel program, she created a video game titled Trepidation.
"Emma-Leigh invested a great deal of energy into properly establishing a world with a rich protagonist and a compelling story. She demonstrated a decided maturity in her ability to consider the perspective of her audience," said Patrick Hansen, teacher in the Propel program.
Robyn Chow: Community and Leadership
Robyn, a recent graduate from Dakota Collegiate Institute (DCI), won the Junior Community and Leadership award which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding community leadership
and involvement in a voluntary capacity. She was recognized at a virtual ceremony on February 25. Watch the event. Robyn is Métis and was the co-school president during her time at DCI.
"I taught Robyn Grade 9 math but also had the pleasure of coaching her in water polo," said Nancy Smith, teacher and head water polo coach at DCI. "As an athlete, she was so determined and committed to honing her skills. She was also a dedicated student and always offered her time to the student body in her free time. She is currently on the coaching roster at DCI to assist with water polo when it resumes."
Congratulations to Erin, Emily, Emma-Leigh and Robyn! Click here for more details on the virtual celebrations and a full list of winners.