Grade 12 Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School student Sheldon Steinhauer is honoured to be this year’s recipient of the 2017 Indigenous Shining Student Award.
“I feel proud of myself. It’s really great. It’s hard to describe in words,” he said.
The award celebrates First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who are ‘shining examples in their communities’. There were also three other students who were honoured as finalists for the annual award.
Originally from Saddle Lake, Steinhauer heard about the award from First Nations Métis Inuit Services’ Coordinator Denene Schawalder, who he talked with about his past and culture.
“I believe Sheldon is an excellent representative of a Shining Indigenous Student,” said Schawalder.
“He is a very resilient young man, who is creative and passionate with his life. He has managed to maintain a healthy balance between his emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being.”
Schawalder said he shows pride in his Cree heritage and often speaks openly about his traditions, always happy to share his knowledge of the Cree language.
“At our school’s Winter Concert, Sheldon performed a bilingual version of O Canada in English and Cree which was amazing. He is a brave young man who demonstrates tenacity, a positive attitude and commitment in all he does,” she said.
Vice Principal Brian Plastow was also very pleased with Steinhauer’s win.
“Sheldon has truly been one of the most impressive students I have met. He is thriving at Lindsay Thurber, excelling in the arts and demonstrating high academic achievement. Sheldon is so deserving of this recognition,” said Plastow.
With a big interest in the arts, Steinhauer has put his passion to work, taking part in the school’s drama program, and landing the lead role in last year’s musical, Winnie The Pooh.
“I was Winnie The Pooh, so it was really awesome,” he said with a smile.
This year marks his third year being in the jazz choir, and he’s in two of the three school’s choirs. He also started doing IB Art 20, an honours class dealing with a more advanced curriculum.
He said winning the award is a recognition for him.
“Me receiving this award is like proving to myself that I can achieve things that I never thought I could ever achieve,” he said.
Steinhauer will attend a student leadership conference, and details are still in progress.
After graduation, Steinhauer hopes to get into the world of performing arts. He will take a gap year next year, and will take more classes at the school, including more of the music programs.
“Within that time I can work and think of what I want to do,” he said.