Winners of the 2021 Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award announced
For immediate release- September, 2021
CALGARY- The recipient of the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award this year goes to Christy Morgan from the St'uxwtéws (Bonaparte) Band, which is a part of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation.
The recipient of the Youth Award is Isabella (Bella) Coderre, or Singing Thunderbird Woman. Bella is Anishinaabe and Mohawk.
"I am happy we get to honour two amazing winners today for lifetime achievement and for doing incredible work as youth" said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "Today, let's celebrate our award winners but also recommit ourselves towards the path to a brighter future for everyone."
The Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award is presented to honour the efforts and contributions of a person, group or organization both Indigenous and non-Indigenous who have:
- Demonstrated leadership in building relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Calgary
- Displayed a commitment to building bridges between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities
- Supported and encouraged effective engagement and activities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities
- Created and supported positive changes in their community
Christy has worked for over 20 years in community development and relations building with the urban Indigenous community in Calgary and area. She has been a leader in facilitating relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through her advocacy, policy and committee work. She has pushed to ensure that Aboriginal Awareness Week is accessible to all Calgarians, that Orange Shirt Day is a learning opportunity for everyone despite a global pandemic and that Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are brought together to find common understanding through differences.
Christy is looked to across the Calgary community for her leadership and perspective in Indigenous and non-Indigenous spaces. This speaks to her ability to live in parallel spaces and speak to different issues and topics that impact the whole community while highlighting the importance to consider the inclusion of and impacts on Indigenous peoples. Christy was previously recognized for her leadership and contributions to the Calgary community through being named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2011 and was awarded the Dr. Douglas Cardinal award for Community Leadership in 2015 by the University of Calgary Student Association and the Native Centre. In her role as Director of Indigenous Initiatives at Trellis Society, Christy supports the agency of over 350 staff to decolonize their practices and embed Reconciliation and Indigenous paradigms into their work.
Overall, Christy is known for her fierce advocacy mixed with gentle leadership. Her impact is more felt than seen as she helped develop a generation of Indigenous leaders through her work with Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiatives, Trellis (previously Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary) and multiple other initiatives she has participated in.
Christy has also created opportunities for people at all level of societies to understand and support the uniqueness of Indigenous people and our place in the Canadian mosaic while at the same time, encouraging Indigenous people (both clients and staff alike) to follow their individual paths.
“Much of the work we do every day intersects with each other and plays a larger role in the formation of the community we want to see. Thank you so much for this award, it is truly one of the greatest gifts I have been honoured to receive” said Morgan, after receiving her award.
The Youth Achievement Award recognizes exceptional Indigenous youth who demonstrate leadership, a strong desire and commitment to achieve educational goals, supports and encourages others to continue in their academic endeavors and encourages and participates in cross-cultural activities involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Bella loves to draw, play games, and talk with loved ones and friends. She is excited to be learning how to sew and currently working on a jingle dress. She is deeply involved in her community as a patrol leader in her Scouts group, looking out for the safety and wellbeing of her teammates. Bella is teaming up with her friends to raise money for the Midewiwin Teaching Lodge.
Bella is also a leader and community builder in her school. She has been a model of positivity and inclusiveness, even during difficult times like the COVID pandemic.
“Sometimes I feel small, but this award helps me feel bigger. Now the things I carry are not as heavy” said Coderre after receiving her award.
Congratulations to Bella!
The City of Calgary thanks all the applicants for their contributions and leadership.
Video of the award ceremony is available on The City’s website at calgary.ca/CrowchildAwards