Denise Augustine is not just the Cowichan Valley school district’s district principal of aboriginal education, she also has been awarded this year’s Indspire award for Leadership.
Representing the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers, the Indspire Awards were created in 1993, in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The awards recognize indigenous professionals who demonstrate outstanding career achievement.
They also promote self-esteem and pride for indigenous communities and provide outstanding role models for indigenous youth.
Winners must be a First Nation, Inuit or Metis person who consistently takes on a leadership role in the educational community fostering achievement amongst K-12 students.
Augustine will receive a $1,000 prize, framed award and an all-expense paid trip to Guiding the Journey: the Indigenous Educator Awards gala that is held in conjunction with the annual National Gathering for Indigenous Education.
On receiving notice of her award at the Sept. 6 school board meeting, Augustine said she wished all the other district aboriginal educators could be on hand to share in it as their efforts and dedication were such an inspiration to her.