Canada’s Premiers Announce 2015 Literacy Award Recipients

Elijah Tigullaraq – Nunavut
Elijah Tigullaraq is a visionary leader and educator with more than 35 years of experience as a problem-solver, curriculum leader, school administrator and strategic planner for school improvement, both at the school and district levels. He has extensive experience in professional development and in the supervision of diverse learning groups. Tigullaraq is a dedicated individual who has not only inspired numerous students, but also his co-workers. For teaching purposes, his inspirations came from Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ). For Tigullaraq, Inuit societal values are also useful in helping others understand the logistics of being an Inuk. He furthered his education through teacher’s college and since then has worked in the field of education. He is currently a bilingual language consultant with the Nunavut Department of Education and continues to inspire and pursue IQ.

Brenda Krys – Ontario
Brenda Krys has been a dedicated volunteer adult literacy instructor with the Waterloo District School Board’s Essential Skills Upgrading Program since 2008. Since then, she has worked as a small group instructor, one-to-one tutor and on outreach activities. Krys extends her dedication to removing barriers toward learning. She has worked tirelessly to find suitable employment opportunities for literacy learners and she is a role model for lifelong learning. When she began to volunteer, Krys decided to complete her Teacher of Adults: Literacy Educator certificate to be more effective as an instructor. She then pursued a Bachelor’s degree in adult education. Krys is greatly respected by adult learners because of her commitment and passion for adult literacy and because she is a learner herself.

Wilfred Augustine – Prince Edward Island
When he moved to PEI with his family in 2007, Wilfred Augustine never thought that he would one day complete grade 12 and be accepted into the Correctional Officer Program at Holland College. Despite having dropped out of school, Augustine was always gainfully employed in New Brunswick as a paramedic on his reserve, but in PEI his employment was limited to seasonal jobs. In 2014, determined to find better employment, he found the courage to go to the upgrading program offered by Holland College on the Scotchfort Reserve. His excellent attendance and determination to succeed resulted in achieving the grade 12 diploma that eluded him for so many years. Augustine is now looking forward to a positive future for himself and his family.

Hélène Simard – Québec
Throughout her life, Hélène Simard has faced challenges and has managed to overcome many obstacles. A sense of commitment, perseverance, dynamism and generosity are just some of the qualities that she has cultivated and reinforced by returning to her education. The organization La Clé, Centre de lecture et d’écriture d’Alma (The Key, Alma Reading and Writing Centre) benefits greatly by her involvement, particularly as a participants’ representative on their Board of Directors. Building on her local experience, she has also represented her peers on the committee for Regroupement des groupes populaires en alphabétisation du Québec (Coalition of Literacy Groups in Québec). As her family’s breadwinner, Simard’s approach to literacy allows her to support her son in his education and guide him toward success. Simard’s journey is an outstanding example of the changes and benefits that greater literacy can provide.