Northeast honours recipients of the Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

Six Outstanding Indigenous Athletes Receive Prestigious Award

2019 Northeast Regional Recipients with the receiving line

2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport, Northeast Regional Ceremony receiving line and recipients. Seated (L-R): Recipients Lisa Cunningham (accepting on behalf of Corey Cunningham), Samantha Wiley, Tessa Sturgeon, Wyatte Copeland, Nancy Moore, Linkin Waldner, Grace Currie Back Row: I·SPARC Northeast Regional Lead, Ken Edzerza, Lheidli T’enneh Councillor Helen Buzas, Lheidli T’enneh Councillor Clarence John, Prince George Métis Community Association President, Kelly O’Neil, Prince George Acting Mayor, Terri McConachie, First Nations Health Authority Project Developer, Keith Henry, I·SPARC Executive Director, Rick Brant, School District 57 Director of Indigenous Education, Pamela Spooner.

Prince George, BC (October 29, 2019) – The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented last night to six outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Northeast Region. The Regional Awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Uda Dune Baiyoh House of Ancestors Conference Centre in Prince George, BC. The Northeast is the second of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.

I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August 2019, receiving close to 130 nominations from across the province for Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport and committed to living healthy, active lifestyles.

A total of 36 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Fraser, Interior, Northeast, Northwest, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2019 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Northeast Regional Recipients

  • Grace Currie, age 16, Swimming, Softball Métis Nation BC (Quesnel)
  • Linkin Waldner, age 12, Hockey, Lacrosse, Métis Nation (Prince George)
  • Nancy Moore, age 15, Hockey, Soccer, Haida Nation (Prince George)
  • Wyatte Copeland, age 17, Rodeo, Métis Nation BC (Rose Prarie)
  • Tessa Sturgeon, age 15, Hockey, Softball, Métis Nation BC (Prince George)
  • Corey Cunningham, age 18, Hockey, Métis Nation BC (Prince George)
  • *Samantha Wiley, age 15, Fastpitch, Hockey, Haida Nation (Prince Rupert / Prince George)

“Congratulations to each of the 36 talented athletes selected as regional award recipients this year,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Your extraordinary achievements in sport and school and as community leaders are an inspiration to everyone in B.C. I wish you the very best as you continue to strive for greatness in athletics and beyond.”

“We are proud to honour the recipients of the Northeast,” said Ken Edzerza, Northeast Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “It is so important to gather our communities to celebrate our youth athletes and their successes. The Premier’s Awards recognize young leaders who are giving back to their sport and communities in a big way.”

“It is a true honour to be selected with all of these amazing student athletes,” said Tessa Sturgeon, 2019 Northeast Regional Premier’s Awards Recipient. “We will continue to represent all of the values of the Premier’s Awards in our communities and in our sport.”

These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards selected in early 2020. 10 Provincial Recipients will be awarded at the Gathering Our Voices Opening Ceremony in Kamloops on March 16, 2020 and go on display at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Throughout November, the four remaining regions will host formal celebrations to honour their 2019 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.

*Samantha Wiley is a Northwest Regional Recipient and she was honoured in along with the Northeast Regional Recipients in Prince George.


About the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council

I·SPARC is a consortium of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC. As the stewards of BC’s Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy, I·SPARC works with First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres, schools and other sport and physical activity stakeholders to deliver community-based programs designed to promote active lifestyles and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, families and individuals across B.C. For more information, please visit:

Media Contact
Felicia Greekas
Manager, Premier’s Awards and Communications