Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I rise today to congratulate Ms. Zoey Roy, who was awarded the 2016 Indspire Award for Youth. Zoey is a Métis poet, rapper and youth activist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Upon hearing she had won the award, she said:
I really think it's a message for kids like me who grew up in the core of Saskatoon, or who grew up transient. We never grew up a traditional indigenous lifestyle, and finding my identity was a true journey.
Zoey is currently enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan in the faculty of education. She was also behind the "Rock the Vote'' movement in Saskatchewan, which encouraged disenfranchised populations to make their voices heard in the 2011 federal election.
The Indspire Award is the highest honour the indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers. It was created in 1993 and was then called the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. The awards recognize indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement. The awards promote self-esteem and pride for indigenous communities and provide outstanding role models for indigenous youth.
This year's celebration and awards ceremony was held on February 12 in Vancouver. Zoey organized a fundraiser selling braided bannock and soup in order to raise enough money for her mother to join her and be in the audience when she received this prestigious award.
Speaking on the importance of having her mother with her, Zoey said:
It's intergenerational trauma that we continue to unravel. I think it's very important for me to have my mom there, because she was the one who brought me into this world, and it takes multiple generations to heal.
Congratulations, Zoey. You are truly an inspiration for all indigenous youth. And by the way, your bannock braids were delicious.