Sheila McMahon, executive director of the United Native Friendship Centre here, is among 11 individuals and eight organizations who will receive the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Volunteerism from the province.
The award is to recognize commitment to volunteering and longstanding service to communities.
McMahon, who is president of the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, has helped shape the friendship centre movement in Ontario for more than 20 years.
The Fort Frances resident supports aboriginal youth by teaching beading, cooking, and other traditional activities.
She also advocates for the inclusion of indigenous languages as part of the curriculum at the Aboriginal Alternative School at the local UNFC.
The award is being presented during National Volunteer Week, which runs April 10-16.
“The outstanding efforts, commitment, and generosity displayed by this year’s award recipients make a real difference in many people’s lives, and are an inspiration for others to follow their lead and give back to their communities,” said Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade minister Michael Chan.
“These amazing volunteers truly honour the memory of June Callwood and the impact she had on our province, which still resonates to this day,” he added.
Late journalist, author, and Order of Ontario recipient June Callwood was one of Canada’s most well-known social activists—founding or co-founding more than 50 Canadian social action organizations.
Since 2009, 150 individuals and groups have received the Callwood award.
Other Ontario recognition programs for volunteering include the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers and the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards.