Former Cree School Board chairperson and champion of Cree language Luke Macleod has been awarded the Josie Sam-Atkinson Award for use of the Cree Language in the Media. The award is named for former Cree Regional Chief Josie Sam-Atkinson. Macleod was Chairperson from 1995 to 1996.
Several honours were announced at the Michiminihtaau Chitayimuwininuu Eeyou Istchee Language Engagement Session held at the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute in Oujé-Bougoumou March 13 to 15, 2018. In a ceremony March 14, Macleod and four others were recognized for their contributions to the preservation of Cree language in Eeyou Istchee.
“Luke MacLeod was always a champion for Cree Language, especially when he served as Chair for the Cree School Board,” said CSB spokesperson Jennifer Mianscum. Macleod’s service was during the time Cree language instruction was first implemented in CSB classrooms.
Among the recipients was Luci Bobbish Salt, who was honoured for lifetime achievement in Cree Language Development with the Matthew Ratt Award.
“Luci Bobbish Salt worked as CSB consultant in Cree Programs and was instrumental in establishing the Cree Lexicon and other work in Cree language,” said Cree Programs Director Elma Moses. Bobbish Salt was unable to attend the ceremony; CSB Co-ordinator of Cree Programs Lucy Shem received the award on her behalf.
Another recipient was Florrie Mark-Stewart, a retired Cree language teacher at Wabannutao Eeyou School. After retirement, Mark-Stewart continued her work in Cree language and culture, teaching students from early childhood through CEGEP level. She was recognized with the Marianne Pashagumskum Award for lifetime achievement in Cree language instruction.
The Morley Loon Award went to Kenny Mianscum for his use of Cree Language in the Arts. Among Mianscum’s many achievements is his long service to the Cree Native Arts & Crafts Association. Mianscum is also a Cree musician.