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Sault College graduate one of eight recognized by provincial government

Her outstanding contributions to community services made her one of two winners in that category
Colleen Hele-Cardinal, Sault College graduate. Photo supplied

Premier Doug Ford's government has announced the winners of the annual Premier's Awards for College Graduates, and a Sault College alumna made the list.

Sault College's 2002 graduate Colleen Hele-Cardinal is the daughter of a residential school survivor, a 60's scoop adoptee, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls family member, and social justice activist organizer. She co-founded the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, and has successfully organized three national Indigenous Adoptee Gatherings. 

Hele-Cardinal is currently collaborating with the Dr. Raven Sinclar Pekiwewin Project to create an innovative and interactive Geographic Information Systems, Mapping. It's purpose is to map the displacement of Indigenous 60's scoop survivors as a result of child welfare policies.

She is a human rights champion, author, producer and internationally recognized advocate for Canada's Indigenous Peoples.

“We are so proud of our alumni and are thrilled to have a means to recognize those who have had significant impacts in the seven award categories. It is such an amazing feeling to have one of our nominees selected,” said Dr. Ron Common, president of Sault College. “Colleen’s work has impacted many and we couldn’t be more proud to have played a role in her life’s work. On behalf of Sault College, I congratulate Colleen on this tremendous honour.”

Sault College also nominated two other alumni for Premier’s Awards: Corey Garson, Steamfitter 2018, in the Apprenticeship Category, and Russ McMeekin, Engineering Technology 1986, in the Business Category. “Corey and Russ have amazing success stories that we were proud to share and celebrate through this nomination. Sault College is honoured to have helped shape their professional lives and we congratulate them on all of their accomplishments,” added Dr. Common.

Premier's Awards for College Graduates recognize eight college graduates for the contributions they have made in their field that are helping to grow the economy and improve lives, making outstanding economic and social contributions to society.

The 2018 award recipients are:

  • Dan Gosen, Conestoga College, for apprenticeship
  • Neil Hetherington, Seneca College, for business
  • Colleen Hele-Cardinal, Sault College, for community services
  • Elder Little Brown Bear/Ernest Matton, Canadore College, for community services
  • Helen Lebeau, Sheridan College, for creative arts and design
  • Allan Cole, Humber College, for health sciences
  • Jad Saliba, Mohawk College, for technology
  • Allie Libertini, Conestoga College, for success as a recent graduate

Award recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario's 24 public colleges.

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