The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation has announced the 2012 recipients of the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and they include the founder of the first and largest Aboriginal financial institution in Canada, the first self-identified Métis person to serve in the federal Cabinet, a young Métis woman who ran across Canada to raise money for poverty and medical research, and the first Inuit woman to become a lawyer. They will be acknowledged in a special gala event on Feb. 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. The 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Award Recipients are Candace Sutherland of Manitoba who gets the Youth Award; Earl Cook of Manitoba, who is named the Youth Award winner (posthumous); actor Adam Beach of Manitoba who is the recipient in the Arts category; Chief Victor Buffalo of Alberta (Business and Commerce); Elder Dave Courchene Jr. of Manitoba (Culture, Heritage and Spirituality); Dr. Leona Makokis of Alberta (Education); Richard Hardy of British Columbia (Environment and Natural Resources); Dr. Janet Smylie of Ontario (Health); Violet Ford of Newfoundland and Labrador (Law and Justice); Richard Wagamese, Ontario (Media and Communications); Leona Aglukkaq, Nunavut (Politics); Grand Chief Edward John, British Columbia (Politics); Minnie Grey, Quebec (Public Service); Richard Peter, British Columbia (Sports); and Senator Gerry St. Germain, Manitoba (Lifetime Achievement Award). The Awards celebrate excellence in the Indigenous community and the limitless potential that Indigenous people represent. They recognize the highest level of achievement and provide terrific role models for Indigenous youth to achieve their potential.