Roman Bittman, a Metis born in Fort Vermilion, was granted his award in the field of Media and Communications. Bittman's long list of credits include a stint at CBC news where he became producer of the science show The Nature of Things. He's made 100 films and been an advisor to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. He has also been president of the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation and he was responsible for implementing the Film Industry Labour Tax Credit in English Canada. Bittman now lives in Toronto and works for Visual Bible International.
The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Dr. Harold Cardinal (Hon.), a Cree known for his long-standing and high-profile participation in federal and Native politics. Cardinal's former positions include president of the Indian Association of Alberta; chief of Sucker Creek First Nation; vice-chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and a Treaty 8 treaty negotiator. He is now completing a doctorate in law through the University of British Columbia.
Lance Relland, the Youth award recipient, was a dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet five years ago, when he was only 16. It was then the Metis youth learned he had leukemia. Because the treatment he needed at the University of Minnesota wasn't covered by Alberta's health insurance plan, Relland was the catalyst for a foundation that was named after him and which raised $100,000 for his treatment. Following a bone marrow transplant and therapy, Relland regained his health. That experience and his discovery that only a fraction of bone marrow donors are Aboriginal, led him to create the Aboriginal Bone Marrow Registries Association. He's also well on his way to becoming a doctor, as he has completed his second year of medicine at the University of California. Relland was the only student in his program with a perfect grade point average and he has been on the dean's list every quarter.
Dr. Lindsay Crowshoe took the award for Medicine. In his professional career Crowshoe is a widely sought-after expert on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The 32-year-old member of the Peigan tribe is better known in the remote communities to which he brings clinical and emergency services as the doctor with the guitar. He has even appeared on Canadian country music charts. In addition, he holds educational workshops for youth wherever he visits and he has written a Metis history.