A group of 12 students from Yellowknife, Hay River and Aklavik have been acknowledged for their dedication to spreading the message of disability awareness in the North.

The students banded together in 2017 to create Voices of Youth, a booklet which focuses on first-person accounts of the problems youth with disabilities face in the North on a daily basis. They received the administrator’s award from Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy at the legislative assembly on Tuesday

Abernethy said the booklet – which has first-person accounts of the struggles of living in the north with a disability – helped shaped an additional direction for conversation about wellness and awareness in the north.

“This is a great example of how we can get the message out (to the public), most importantly how people on the front lines get their messages out (to the public),” said Abernethy. “I think they are an amazing group of young people and I’m very excited about the work they’ve done. Youth have the opportunity to be a voice of change and a voice of a new reality.”

Abernethy added the Voices Of Youth booklet was submitted to the government and is being used as an influential resource for lawmakers. The stories from the booklet will be looked at as the Department of Health and Social Services continues to develop the disabilities framework.

This was the 11th year for the Disability Awareness Tea and Awards Ceremony, and it is the 40-year anniversary for the NWT Disabilities Council.

Trophies were presented by Abernethy based on their dedication to creating a safe and encouraging atmosphere for people with disabilities.

Abernethy said he was proud to sponsor the event again and was proud of all the people who were nominated.

“This event is about highlighting the champions who are out there doing this important work and helping improve lives of residents throughout the Northwest Territories,” he said. “These types of events are especially important when it comes to relaying the message (of disability support) to the public.”

Residents from across the territory gathered inside the Great Hall at the Legislative Assembly of the NWT on Tuesday for the 11th annual Disability Awareness Tea and Awards Ceremony.                                                                                            Michael Hugall/NNSL photo

All winners : 

  • 2018 Administrator’s Award presented by Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy: Voices Of Youth – Alysson McKee, Carly Sayers, Conlan McKee, Connor Beaton, Harrison Baile, Jacob Kudlak, Jenna Aitken, Justine Cuvelier, Kyle McKee, Patrick Doody, Sasha Cloustrom.
  • 2018 Community Champion Award presented by the NWT Disabilities Council: Trevor Kasteel 
  •  2018 Accessibility Award presented by the NWT Human Rights Commission: Birchwood Dental

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