East Prairie Hillview student receives Honouring Spirit Award

Northland School Division celebrated with two students in Edmonton while receiving Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards in Edmonton April 15. In the front row, left-right, are award recipients Rodney Lalonde, of East Prairie Hillview School, and Amelia Savill, of Anzac Community School. In the back row, left-right, are Northland CEO/Supt. of Schools Cal Johnson, Ward 9 trustee Aimee McCamon, and Northland board of trustees chair Robin Guild.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

An East Prairie Hillview School student is one of two Northland School Division students to receive 2024 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards.

Rodney Lalonde, of East Prairie, and Amelia Savill, of Anzac Community School were recent recipients in Edmonton April 15.

In a news release issued April 17, Northland said they were thrilled with the announcement.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, I am very pleased to congratulate Rodney and Amelia on receiving such a prestigious award,” says board chair Robin Guild.

“To be selected among a number of students from across the province is a remarkable achievement,” he adds.

The award recognizes students for characteristics such as embracing their culture, modeling leadership skills and demonstrating kindness toward others.

“In getting to know Rodey and Amelia, there’s no question they demonstrate these special qualities and are worthy recipients of this award,” says Supt. of Schools/CEO Cal Johnson.

Lalonde attends school in East Prairie where his friends call him R.J. He is said to attend school each day with a smile on his face and a cheerful greeting for everyone he encounters.

“He has a love for learning and is happy to share his experiences and ideas surrounding hunting, foraging and spending time outdoors,” cites Northland’s news release.

“Rodkey is also teaching himself coding skills and is collaborating with classmates on a series of comics,” the news release adds.

“During the fall of 2023, he represented his school at a Northland School Division board of trustees meeting in Edmonton where he promoted the needs and voices of fellow students. During land-based learning experiences with local knowledge keepers, R.J. is always excited to share with them who he is, what family he belongs to and that he is a member of the Driftpile Cree Nation.”

The Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award categories are divided into three regions: North, Central and South. In each region, awards are divided into the following grade categories: kindergarten to Grade 3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12.

In total, 12 very deserving students receive awards each year. Each receives an award certificate and congratulatory letter; a unique, hand-crafted star blanket, a one-time scholarship sponsored by Keyera, who provides a $2,500 scholarship to each recipient to acknowledge their achievements and support their educational journey.

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