Division News

Division News

Two NSD students selected as Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award Recipients

Posted on April 18

We are thrilled to announce that two Northland School Division (NSD) students have been selected as recipients of the 2024 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award! The recipients are Rodney Lalonde from Hillview School and Amelia Savill from Anzac Community School! 

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am very pleased to congratulate Rodney and Amelia on receiving such a prestigious award,” said Robin Guild, Board Chair. “To be selected among a number of students from across the province is a remarkable achievement. The Board is so proud of both of you.”

“This award recognizes students for characteristics such as embracing their culture, modeling leadership skills and demonstrating kindness towards others,” said Cal Johnson, Superintendent of Schools/CEO. “In getting to know Rodney and Amelia, there’s no question they demonstrate these special qualities and are worthy recipients of this award. Congratulations Rodney and Amelia!”  


  • Rodney Lalonde, Grade 6, Hillview School


    • RJ, as family and friends call him, attends school each day with a smile on his face and a cheerful greeting for everyone he encounters. He has a love for learning and is happy to share his experiences and ideas surrounding hunting, foraging and spending time outdoors. Rodney is also teaching himself coding skills and is collaborating with classmates on a series of comics. During the fall of 2023, he represented his school at a Northland School Division Board of Trustees meeting in Edmonton where he promoted the needs and voices of fellow students. During land-based learning experiences with local knowledge keepers, RJ is always excited to share with them who he is, what family he belongs to and that he is a member of the Driftpile Cree Nation.


  • Amelia Savill, Grade 3, Anzac Community School


    • Amelia is a very determined, caring, driven young girl. Amelia never gives up and works hard to do her best at anything she is part of. She is proud of her culture and loves sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. Amelia takes part in many cultural activities with her family, from hunting and trapping, to berry picking and bannock making, to beading and sewing ribbon skirts. Amelia loves her Cree class and was part of a group who sang O Canada in Cree at the Northland Games last year. She is very thoughtful about how her actions affect others. She chooses kindness and supports others.

The Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award categories are divided into three regions: North, Central and South. In each region, awards are divided into the following grade categories:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3;
  • Grades 4 to 6;
  • Grades 7 to 9;
  • And, Grades 10-12. 

In total, 12 students received an Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award. Each award recipient was presented with: 

  • An award certificate and congratulatory letter;  
  • A unique hand-crafted Star Blanket; 
  • A one-time scholarship, sponsored by Keyera. Keyera, a proud sponsor of the 2022-2026 awards, provided a $2,500 scholarship to each recipient to acknowledge their achievements and support their educational journeys. 

For more information, please visit the Alberta School Boards Association website: https://www.asba.ab.ca/backgrounder-2024-honouring-spirit-indigenous-student-award-recipients/

Group Photo

Back Row Left to Right: Cal Johnson (Superintendent of Schools/CEO), Aimee McCamon (Ward 9 Trustee), Robin Guild (Board Chair)

Front Row Left to Right: Rodney Lalonde (Hillview School), Amelia Savill (Anzac Community School)