The Kwa Kwa Ku-Wak’ Achievement Awards were held at the Civic Centre in Port Hardy on Saturday, Sept. 24. The awards ceremony was put together and hosted by Stan Wamiss and his wife Nancy.
“When Dora Speck (a visually impaired local community member) graduated I thought that was really something, it meant a lot to me and to everybody,” said Stan, adding there was another local youth with a disability named Charlie Walkus who graduated “and that also really moved me.”
Stan was talking with Nancy one day and said “We should do something for them and other people.”
The idea for the achievement awards slowly grew bigger and bigger. “I’d wanted to put it together for many years, and we finally decided to put it on ourselves,” said Stan.
After almost five years of planning the event, they finally made it happen in 2016, and “Every prize we gave away came out of our own pocket,” said Stan.
The achievement awards featured traditional First Nation’s songs and dances, a delicious dinner of mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and roast beef, wild blackberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert, and also a few heartfelt speeches from the awards recipients.
Overall, the achievement awards “went good, I was happy,” said Stan. “I’m glad we did it and my immediate family were a big help setting up the hall, even my grandkids were at the front doorway greeting everyone,” adding that they received some “great compliments from our community and from outside of the community.”
Stan and Nancy are planning to continue to hold the awards bi-annually (every two years), and wanted to say a thank you to “Buddy and Vanessa Walkus, Calvin Hunt, and Dean and Kathy Wilson for donating the ice cream and coffee.”
Education: Fran Jinnouchi, Evelyn Voyageur, William Wallace, Kaleb Child, Tom Child, Margaret Wilson, Marie Hunt, Nila Nelson, Sala Sukow, Eleanor Wilson, Jessie Hemphill, Robin Dawson, Dusty Dawson, Sally M. George, Leah Hubbard, Barbara Cranmer, Janet Hanuse, Maggie Wallas, Sonny Wallace, Richard Nelson, Dean Wilson, Charles Sheard, Dora Speck, Colleen George, Jim Clair, Maria Hunt, Tammy Hunt, Winnifred Nelson, Charlie Walkus, Sonja Conroy, Marion Hunt, Dorothy Nelson, Grace Smith, Lily Bruce, Herman Bruce, Debra Hanuse, Gerri Coon, Business: Kim Kufaas, Helen Charlie-Cake
Health: Cary-Lee Calder, Arlene Clair, Sally Williams, Kathy Wilson Culture: William Wasden Jr., K’odi Nelson, Thomass Wamiss Jr., Harold Nelson, Merv Child, Mike Willie
Sports: Alex Nelson, Margaret Badger, Jasmine Hunt, Danielle Dawson, Kiara Peterson Lifetime Achievements: William Wasden Sr., Willie Walkus, Doug Johnny, Nancy Wamiss.