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The Inspiring 2018 Indspire  Awards

Sadly, for many Canadians the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on July 21st will come and go with little fanfare. However, we all have a second chance this week to increase our understanding and appreciation of Indigenous Peoples by tuning into the Indspire Awards this Sunday evening.  This inspiring program will be broadcast nationwide on June 24, 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC, CBC Radio One and cbc.ca/watch.  http://www.cbc.ca/indspire/watch-the-2018-indspire-awards-1.4552124

The Indspire Awards, until 2012 the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, are held annually. These awards first presented in 1994 celebrate exceptional First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals. Each of the recipients is honoured for her/his significant contributions. The awards recognize one individual with a lifetime achievement award.  Other recipients of awards are from the following career categories: Arts, Business & Commerce, Culture, Heritage & Spirituality, Education, Health, Law & Justice, Politics, Public Service and Sports. Not all individual career categories are necessarily presented annually. This year’s awards recognize individuals from a wide range of categories including the first Indigenous graduate of the University of British Columbia and the first Inuk surgeon. There are also three special Youth Awards - one for   First Nations,   Inuit     and   Métis, that come with a cash prize of $10,000.  

The broadcast also features special performances by Indigenous talent from across Canada. This year's list includes:

  • Indian City led by Vince Fontaine (2018 Juno-nominated)
  • Sanikiluaq singer and songwriter Kelly Fraser (2018 Juno-nominated)
  • Dancer and choreographer Santee Smith
  • Singer, composer, and producer Jennifer Kreisberg (Genie Award winner for Best Achievement in Music)
  • Classically trained Canadian cellist Cris Derksen, with members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
  • Dance troupe Asham Stompers, with 13-year-old twin fiddler brothers Double the Trouble and Gustin Adjun.

On several occasions I’ve availed myself of the opportunity to watch the Indspire Awards.  As the final credits rolled, I have always come away with a heightened appreciation for the numerous gifts and wisdom that Indigenous Peoples contribute to our national mosaic. - Sr. Nancy Wales, csj


Weekly Pause &  Ponder

God will bring people and events into our lives and whatever we may think about them, they are designed for the evolution of [God’s] life in us.

- Thomas Keating



A Father's Day  Reflection

As the father of five and a grandfather of seven (almost eight!) I look forward to Father’s Day.  When I reflect on my role as a father, I think it can be summed up as nurturing the love which is at the heart of our family.

As a husband and father, I think first of all my wife, Clare, who is central to our family.  As a couple we have worked together to create a family which is pretty special – if I do say so myself! As parents, our love is the source of what energizes our family. 

Clare and I have had our share of joys – births (including twins in two generations!), family camping, graduations, weddings, new jobs, etc., etc.

We have also had our share of tribulations – miscarriage, mental illness, death of a newborn grandson, job losses, and especially the death of our Kevin, a victim of drug addiction. The strength that comes to me as a father has certainly helped bear these trials.

The high school I taught at in Peterborough (St. Peter’s) has as its motto “Through Trials to Triumph”, and I have always thought that this sums up our family life and my role as a father.  We have all suffered with and supported each other through various difficulties, and now as a family we enjoy a closeness which is special to us.

A very poignant confirmation of the success Clare’s and my life in creating family came as I followed Kevin’s coffin after his funeral.  As we walked to his grave I had a very strong feeling of joy come upon me and I thought “We’ve done something right!”  Despite the pain and sorrow of the moment, the outpouring of support from a huge variety of people – our friends (some of whom we hadn’t seen in ages) and many more friends of Kevin and of our other children made my spirit soar – "Yes, we've done something right – in the midst of this deep time   of grief for a son whom we supported the best way we knew how."

On this Father’s Day I am very thankful for Clare, for our children and their spouses, and, of course our grandchildren. 

I am blessed indeed!

Joe Keast, Archivist/Librarian for the Peterborough Sisters 


Sources of Wisdom  

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the title says a lot...

Over lunch with a colleague, who happens to be a therapist by profession, she mentioned how she sometimes employs book titles in supporting her clients. She shares the following examples of book title wisdom. However, she offers a disclaimer that she recommends the title not necessarily is she advocating that you add the book to your summer reading list.

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. 

 This book provides an introduction to the practice of mindfulness and truly being in our own skin each minute of each day. Fighting against the truth of this title keeps us distracted from our lives.



There is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber. 

Here is a book about challenging all of the little internalized messages that say you have to change in order to be likeable, loveable, or worthy.  The title sums it up nicely. You don't need to listen to these messages at all, and you can absolutely learn a different truth about yourself.





Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. 

Happiness is often closer than we expect ... but our ideas of what we think will make us happy often get in the way.



The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.

This book is an interesting introduction to the idea of neuroplasticity, showing us that the structure of the brain itself can change in remarkable ways.  There is very little that is "stuck" permanently!




Many Roads, One Journey by Charlotte Kasl.  

While this book focuses on alternative paths to recovery from addiction, the title acknowledges that there are a wide range of ways each person could get to their goals. There is not only one "right" path.





The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

The subtitle really captures it nicely: "Let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are."



The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. 

 There is something a bit clichéd about the title at this point, but the concept is still valid: there is a lot to be gained by charting our own course rather than trying to follow the herd.



The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein. 

 This is book written and illustrated as if for children that still quite nicely describes the illusion many adults carry that they are "missing" something in themselves and need to find it elsewhere.



What book title could you add to our list?

Please post your title with a comment.



Rebecca Machado, the Executive Director of Daya Counselling Centre and Sister Nancy Wales, csj


Weekly Pause &  Ponder

Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.  It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.  Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.

Barack Obama


Copyright 2013. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada.