Canada’s Premiers Announce 2021 Literacy Award Recipients

Bob Stranach – New Brunswick
Bob Stranach is an outstanding leader in the Central Valley Adult Learning Association Inc. and a source of inspiration for many who work and volunteer in the field of adult literacy. He grew up in a working-class family and his father impressed on him that learning is a gift, not to be taken for granted, and to be paid forward whenever the opportunity presented itself.  Bob has been volunteering his time in support of adult literacy for more than 20 years. His devotion and dedication to adult learners cannot be fully expressed. Bob spends countless hours to ensure that each learner has the best learning experience possible. His ideas, research, and support are the cornerstone to the success of innumerable learners.

Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife – Northwest Territories
The Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife (RCYK) is a fixture of support for 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ youth across the Northwest Territories. Their multi-faceted literacy work supports participants’ development. RCYK promotes many forms of literacy through their programming, including academic learning through their homework club, cultural literacy through various sewing, beading and craft programming, health literacy through their advocacy work with the NWT and workshops for youth, as well as family literacy through the Little Rainbows program. RCYK also maintains an extensive library with books and other resources. A large impact of RCYK’s literacy work is their promotion of inclusive and supportive language. Through their social media and traditional media outreach, they have helped NWT residents to broaden their knowledge of 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ history, current issues, and correct terminology.

Debra Toney – Nova Scotia
Born with spina bifida, Debra Toney never let her physical disabilities get in the way of her enjoyment of school. Debra struggled academically and dropped out after Grade 10. Her determination drove her to later return to obtain her high school diploma, after which she was diagnosed with a severe learning disability. With this new knowledge, and help from a local learning organization, Debra enrolled in the political science program at Acadia University. As she works towards her degree, Debra remains a force in the community where she advocates for Indigenous education and rights. She hopes to graduate within the next two years, study law and continue to support the Indigenous community.

Nunia Anoee – Nunavut
Nunia Anoee of Arviat is no stranger to the academic world. With over 30 years of experience, ranging from teaching elementary and high school to developing Inuktitut curriculum for the Nunavut Department of Education, Nunia is passionate about promoting Inuktitut to students across Nunavut. While her studies and work have taken her to different communities across the territory, she recognizes the importance of learning different dialects of Inuktitut to facilitate more meaningful communication with Elders, community members, students, and family. Dedicated to meeting students where they are at, and helping to strengthen students’ Inuktitut language skills at all ages, Nunia embodies the qualities of a leader of literacy promotion. Nunia currently works as an elementary school teacher at Levi Angmak Elementary School in Arviat.