TRU elder honoured

A Shuswap elder who works at Thompson Rivers University’s Williams Lake campus is being honoured for her work keeping her native culture alive.

Cecilia DeRose is among 13 Indigenous Canadians receiving Indspire awards this year.

DeRose is being recognized for her expertise in teaching the Secwepemctsin language, as well as her handiwork with hides, beads and quills and her knowledge of traditional/medicinal plants.

DeRose is a member of the Esk’etemc First Nation, a long time Secwepemctsin language teacher and an elder advisor to the Culturally Safe Dementia Care research project.

She works with the Elders College in Williams Lake and a local Aboriginal Head Start program.

The Indspire Awards are being handed out at a ceremony in Winnipeg on March 23, but the 13 recipients were recognized today in Ottawa during Question Period in the House of Commons.

Indspire is an Indigenous-led charity that is also the second-largest funder of Indigenous post-secondary education, with the first being the federal government.

"The 2018 Indspire Awards are the highest honour bestowed on Indigenous people, marking the significant contributions of our people in Canada," said Roberta L. Jamieson, president and CEO of Indspire and executive producer of the Indspire Awards. "We not only recognize the recipients’ individual successes, their discipline, drive and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals, but also to share and celebrate, the impact of their stories and journeys with all Canadians.

"We also celebrate the future, through our three youth recipients, each of whom serves as a role model, promoting self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community at large and providing outstanding role models for Indigenous youth across the country."

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