Avatar Media recognized for its commitment to the success of Aboriginal students
Avatar Media is the recipient of the 2012 Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award for its commitment to Aboriginal student success.
“I am pleased to recognize the work Avatar Media has done in this very important area,” said Sen. Thelma Chalifoux, Métis elder at NAIT. “The projects this Alberta-based company has taken on truly demonstrate a strong commitment to Aboriginal student success while preserving and fostering a wider understanding of Aboriginal cultures.”
Avatar Media has begun work on a virtual museum that will preserve Métis history and the nearly extinct Michif language for generations to come. The virtual museum will feature the artifacts and documents currently held within the Michif Cultural and Métis Resource Institute, located in St. Albert, which Chalifoux founded. Avatar uses leading technology to design the online resource, which will feature “rooms” with themes such as Culture, Music and Language. In these rooms, visitors will be able to rotate and examine historically-significant objects using a mouse, and eventually view content in stereoscopic 3-D.
In addition to this project, Avatar Media developed a series of five videos called Our Culture, Our People introducing teachers to First Nations and Métis communities and cultures in the Northern Lights School Division. Avatar Media has also developed the Health Warriors website, designed to encourage and educate First Nations youth in Treaty 6, 7 and 8 about healthcare careers.
“Avatar Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2012 Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award,” said Jaro Malanowski, producer and director with Avatar Media. “We will continue to work with our Aboriginal partners to develop various projects which will help student achievement and improve access to information by all Canadians. We enjoy being part of the NAIT community as we strive to make media that makes a difference.”
Avatar Media is a client of novaNAIT, the home of applied research and enterprise development at NAIT, and has office space in NAIT’s St. Albert business incubator facility.
Introduced in 2000, the Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award honours Chalifoux’s ongoing support of Aboriginal technical education. Through all her endeavors, Chalifoux has consistently focused on making life better for others. She was the first Métis woman in the Senate, appointed by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Nov. 26, 1997, to represent Alberta. She served until Feb. 9, 2004.
Chalifoux has acted as a key land claims negotiator, was the founder of the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre and was instrumental in developing the Metis Association of Alberta Land and Welfare Departments. Chalifoux was named NAIT’s Distinguished Friend of the Institute in 2002 and received an honourary diploma in Business Administration in 2003.
The presentation of the 2012 Senator Thelma Chalifoux Award comes during NAIT’s Aboriginal Awareness Week, which this year runs from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12. The theme of this year’s awareness week, which showcases First Nations, Métis and Inuit teachings and culture, is “Our Elders’ Teachings.”
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
For more information, please contact:
Aboriginal Liaison Services
EnCana Aboriginal Centre
P 780.471.7839 E firstname.lastname@example.org
P 780.378.6189 E email@example.com
NAIT Media Relations
P 780.471.8450 C 780.916.8307 E firstname.lastname@example.org