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Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council ( I·SPARC) – Eight Outstanding Indigenous Athletes Receive Prestigious Award

Photo Credit Venessa Facciotti. 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport Recipients (Fraser Region), Kaia Haintz, Darwin Douglas, Taya Suttill, Bradly Tober, Dwight Ballantyne, Tahlaela Marks, Chris Katsiamitas
Abbotsford, B.C. (November 20, 2018) – The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport were presented to eight outstanding Indigenous youth athletes from British Columbia’s Fraser Region. The Awards were presented during a formal celebration held at the Mamele’awt Community Aboriginal Centre in Abbotsford, BC on Sunday, November 18, 2018. Fraser is the fifth of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council’s (I·SPARC) six regions to honour Indigenous athletes through this unique province-wide awards program.

I·SPARC, in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, launched the regional nomination process in August 2018, receiving nominations from across the province for Indigenous athletes under 25 years of age who are competing in performance sport and committed to living healthy, active lifestyles.

A total of 47 recipients were chosen within I·SPARC’s six regions – Northeast, Northwest, Interior, Fraser, Vancouver Coastal, and Vancouver Island.

The 2018 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport – Fraser Regional Recipients

  • Kaia Haintz, age 14, Track & Field, Cross Country, Hwlitsum First Nation
  • Darwin Douglas, age 15, Rugby, Basketball, Football, Cheam First Nation
  • Taya Suttill, age 15, Basketball, Soccer, Track & Field, Métis Nation, BC
  • Bradly Tober, age 16, Shot Put, Hammer Throw, Métis Nation, BC
  • Callison Foreman, age 16, Field Hockey, Box Lacrosse, Rugby, Tahltan Nation
  • Dwight Ballantyne, age 23, Hockey, Montreal Lake Cree Nation
  • Tahlaela Marks, age 17, Soccer, Sechelt First Nation
  • Chris Katsiamitas, age 16, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Gitanmaax

“I’m very proud to support these awards, which provide much-deserved recognition for our top young Indigenous athletes,” said Premier John Horgan. “It’s great to see these young champions achieving top results in such a wide variety of sports.”

“These talented young athletes are rising stars in their sports and role models in their communities,” said The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “I hope these awards will encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams on and off the field of play.”

“I am happy that we have the support of the BC Government to recognize our elite athletes, and that our athletes are not only talented in sport but are strong leaders and have set really high academic goals,” said Cheryl Charlie, Fraser Regional Lead for I·SPARC. “We are proud of all of the nominees as well as the recipients and wish them the best on their sporting journeys.”

These Regional recipients automatically serve as nominees for the Provincial Awards. A total of 12 Provincial Awards (six male and six female) will be selected in January 2019. Provincial recipients will be presented with their award at Gathering our Voices: Indigenous Youth Leadership Forum in Port Alberni March 19-22, 2019.

Next week the remaining region will host a formal celebration to honour their 2018 Regional Premier’s Awards recipients.


About the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
I·SPARC is a consortium of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC. As the stewards of BC’s Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy, I·SPARC works with First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres, schools and other sport and physical activity stakeholders to deliver community-based programs designed to promote active lifestyles and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, families and individuals across B.C. For more information, please visit:
Media Contact
Felicia Greekas
Manager, Premier’s Awards and Communications