The Indigenous Advocate Award is presented to a self-identified member of an Indigenous community who has demonstrated outstanding efforts to advance the human rights of Indigenous Peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador. While the province’s traditional Indigenous Peoples include the Beothuk, the Mi’kmaq of Miawpukek First Nation, the Mi’kmaq of Qalipu First Nation, the Innu of Nitassinan, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut, and the Inuit of NunatuKavut, this award may also be conferred for outstanding efforts to advance the human rights of Indigenous Peoples more generally.
The recipient’s advocacy work may have been undertaken through an Indigenous organization or government; a business, non-profit, or community program; or independently of any organization. Examples of notable achievements for which this award may be conferred include fostering greater public education and awareness about Newfoundland and Labrador’s Indigenous histories and cultures; preserving and promoting the province’s Indigenous languages and traditions; and working to decolonize key areas of public policy and service delivery, such as education, training, employment, healthcare, housing, and justice.
- Charlotte Winters-Fost (2020), who was recognized for her more than forty years of advocacy in promoting cross-cultural understanding, her efforts to build a strong urban Indigenous community in St. John’s, and her work to advance truth and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Diem Saunders (2021), who was recognized posthumously for their community activism on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
- Jennie Williams (2022), who was recognized for her outstanding work in film and photography documenting and sharing the unique cultural traditions of Inuit communities in Labrador.
The public nominations period for the 2022 Indigenous Advocate Award is now closed.