By Marci Becking
NIPISSING FIRST NATION – This year when the 10th anniversary of the Davis Armstrong Memorial Award was handed out at Nbisiing Secondary School graduation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Graduate Angel Armstrong was this year’s recipient of the award, named after father Davis who lost his battle with mental health issues when Angel was very young. Angel’s grandfather and teacher at Nbisiing, Alex Armstrong, watched with pride from the drum as his granddaughter crossed the stage to accept the award.
Nbisiing saw 11 students graduate this year. Emcee of the June 23 event was Nipissing First Nation Education Committee and Deputy Chief, Muriel Sawyer. Sawyer reminded families in attendance that on August 16, Nipissing along with other communities to sign the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement with Canada and the Master Education Agreement with Ontario on August 16 in Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
“The Anishinabek Education System will be that we will be taking control over First Nations education,” says Sawyer. “We are capable of ensuring our children receive the best possible education.”
Chief Scott McLeod addressed the graduates saying that it’s one of his favourite days of the year to see young men and women graduate.
“More important that to continue onto whatever you want to do is to be a good anishinaabe person,” says Chief McLeod. “You are what makes our community stronger.”
Mary Caroline Aubertin Award – Cody Sutherland
Davis Armstong Memorial Award – Angel Armstrong
Co-op Award – Angel Armstrong
Most Improved Student Award – William Chum
Ojibwe Language Award – Tarah-Lynn Remillard
Fred Couchie Memorial Award – Cody Sutherland and Angel Armstrong
Woman of Strength Award – Amber Fryer
Volunteer Award – Mathew Gauthier
Ephraim and Barbara Couchie Memorial Award – Richard Legault
The Brian Hansen Award – David Frieda
Canadore College Tuition Award – Cody Sutherland and Angel Armstrong
Staff Recognition of a Student Award – Oliver (Malcolm) Small
Highest Academic Achievement Award – Angel Armstrong
Marion Attendance Award – David Frieda