Winners of the 2023 CAUAU Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award announced
The recipient of the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award this year is Lowa Beebe. The recipient of the 2023 Aboriginal Youth Award is Danyka Aahwanakii Labelle.
“The City of Calgary is committed to walking the path of truth and reconciliation. That’s not just about acknowledging our colonial history, but also celebrating Indigenous cultures and achievements to make positive change and move forward together,” says Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “That’s why I’m grateful to participate in this award ceremony. This year’s winners represent the strength, creativity, and compassion of true leadership.”
The Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award is presented to honour the efforts and contributions of a person, group or organization 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
Lowa Beebe is a proud member of the Piikani/Kainai First Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy & Treaty 7 in southern Alberta.
Throughout her career, Lowa has collaborated with various Indigenous communities, including First Nation, Inuit, and Métis, contributing significantly to diverse areas such as policy, custom election codes, engagement, and governance. She has also played pivotal roles in consultation, strategic planning, and more, working closely with Chiefs, Council Members, Consultation Offices, and Land Administrations.
Currently, she is the Manager of Indigenous Services at MNP LLP and the recent co-founder of The Path Forward. This innovative firm is a 100 per cent Indigenous women-owned entity offering corporate education on Reconciliation and Indigenous intercultural competency through a variety of courses, events, and expert consultations. She also currently hosts a radio show on Windspeaker Radio every Friday morning and has been involved with numerous non-profit community organizations.
“This award reflects the extraordinary legacy of Chief Crowchild – his tireless efforts towards the advancement of the First Nations people of Treaty 7 and his dedication extending to the cross-cultural bridges with the non-indigenous community,” says this year’s recipient, Lowa Beebe. “Receiving this prestigious award is a profound honour and has a personal connection for me. My late grandfather, Howard Beebe Sr. of the Kainai Nation, and Chief Crowchild were united in their efforts of transformative change as founding members of the powerful and influential Indian Association of Alberta formed in 1939. Today, as the people of Mohkinstsis, our work continues to be inspired and guided by our ancestors on our path toward Reconciliation.”
The Youth Achievement Award recognizes exceptional Indigenous youth who demonstrate leadership, a strong desire and commitment to achieve educational goals, support and encourage others to continue in their academic endeavors and encourage/participate in cross-cultural activities involving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Danyka (Aahwanakii) LaBelle, models leadership daily through her actions. In fact, the motto of her wrestling club, “Facta non Verba”, (Deeds not Words), extends to all areas of her life. She leads by example as the captain of her rugby team, as a highly respected member of the Alberta North American Indigenous Games team and one of the members of her schools' FNMI club. Danyka uses her knowledge and teachings to support and move forward important social causes at her school including Orange Shirt Day, Red Dress Day, and the Moose Hide Campaign initiatives, creating awareness for teachers and students of the present day ramifications of historical events.
Danyka is aware of the value and importance of education today. She also recognizes that education comes in many forms – while she has been accepted at the University of Calgary in the Education program, she is hoping that her love of languages will allow her to explore the opportunity to revitalize the Michif and Cree languages among young people today. Her goal of becoming a teacher lends itself to a life of service to educating others to continue to strive forward despite possible obstacles in their path.
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