Kendal Netmaker recognized with Indspire Youth Award
- EFN Staff | October 28, 2014
You can’t walk through a school or sports arena in Indian Country without seeing someone wearing Neechie Gear. The hugely popular clothing brand was created by entrepreneur Kendal Netmaker who is originally from Sweetgrass First Nation, but his brand, and the success of it, has taken him around the world.
Today Kendal was in Ottawa as The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons, acknowledged this year’s Indspire award recipients. Kendal is the fitting recipient of the 2015 First Nations Youth Award.
Kendal has built Neechi Gear into a lifestyle apparel brand that empowers youth through sports. A portion of profits help underprivileged kids to play sports. Kendal has received both entrepreneurial and chamber of commerce awards. To date, his company has contributed over $15,000 in donations and has helped over 2,500 youth across Canada take part in sports.
“Receiving an Indspire award is truly an honor and is motivating to keep doing what I do for a living!” said Kendal over Messenger from the House of Commons. All of that success and he is still a very humble young man but he did note his wife was very proud of him.
The Indspire Awards, the highest honour bestowed by Indigenous people on their own achievers, have celebrated the significant contributions of Indigenous people in Canada for 22 years. The Indspire Awards recognize the success of individuals who have the discipline, drive, and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals. They promote self-esteem and pride for the Indigenous community and provide outstanding role models for Indigenous youth.
"Over the course of their professional careers, these individuals have made distinct, enduring contributions to their communities and to the entire country," said Roberta L. Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire and Executive Producer of the Indspire Awards. "The Indspire Awards also salute the future by acknowledging the achievements of three Indigenous youth, so they can serve as role models for their peers. We are proud of each recipient and are honoured to be able to share their stories with all Canadians."
The 2015 Indspire Awards recipients are as follows:
- Lifetime Achievement: Elsie Yanik - Métis - Alberta
- Arts: Ron E. Scott - Métis - Alberta
- Business & Commerce: Brenda LaRose - Métis - Manitoba
- Culture, Heritage, & Spirituality: Peter Irniq - Inuit - Nunavut
- Education: Paulette C. Tremblay - Six Nations of the Grand River - Ontario
- Environment & Natural Resources: Gerald Anderson - Inuit - Newfoundland & Labrador
- Health: William Julius Mussell - Skwah First Nation - British Columbia
- Law & Justice: Dr. Wilton Littlechild - Ermineskin Cree Nation - Alberta
- Politics: Kim Baird -Tsawwassen First Nation - British Columbia
- Public Service: Madeleine Redfern - Inuit - Nunavut
- Sports: Gino Odjick - Kitigan Zibi First Nation - Quebec
- Youth - First Nation: Kendal Netmaker -Sweetgrass First Nation - Saskatchewan
- Youth - Inuit: Jordan Konek - Nunavut
- Youth - Métis: Gabrielle Fayant – Alberta
The 2015 Indspire Awards gala will be held on February 27, 2015 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary. The gala ceremony will air at a later date on Global Television and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the returning exclusive broadcast partners.