Sudbury·Audio

Waubetek Business Development's Dawn Madahbee Leach wins Indspire award

The 2020 Indspire Awards will be handed out this weekend — and three women from Manitoulin Island are among the recipients. The awards are given out by the Indigenous community for First Nations, Inuit and Métis who have excelled in their respective fields.

Indspire Awards to be broadcast by CBC TV and Radio One, as part of Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations

Waubetek Business Development Corporation general manager Dawn Madahbee Leach is one of this year's winners at the Indspire Awards, which showcases and honours Indigenous talent from across Canada. Leach Hails from Birch Island, located near Sudbury. (Supplied/Dawn Madahbee Leach)

The 2020 Indspire Awards will be handed out this weekend — and three women from Manitoulin Island are among the recipients. The awards are given out by the Indigenous community for First Nations, Inuit and Métis who have excelled in their respective fields.

Dawn Madahbee Leach from AOK First Nation will be receiving the Business and Commerce award. For the past 30 years she has worked for the Waubetek Business Development Corporation, which has provided close to $100 million to Indigenous start up companies.

" Knowing what businesses go through — the business people go through — has helped me to provide the services that we need to do to support our Indigenous businesses," she told Morning North radio show host Markus Schwabe.

"Waubetek has been very successful in doing that and I think it's because we understand the needs of our client group very well."

Also receiving Indspire awards are Marian Jacko for Law and Justice, and Jeannette Corbiere Lavell for lifetime achievement. Both women are from the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory.

Madahbee Leach says entrepreneurship comes naturally to many Indigenous people.

"People come into our office with no limit on the ideas that they have," she said.

"And we always look at our people building on their natural gifts, talents and skills. That's what people do when they get into business — they take on something that they enjoy and have an aptitude for."

A total of 12 people will be receiving Indspire Awards this year.

The Indspire Awards recognizes Indigenous professionals and youth who demonstrate outstanding career achievement. CBC Radio One will broadcast this celebration of culture on Sunday, June 21. Marian Jacko is receiving the award for Law and Justice. Jeannette Corbiere Lavell is receiving the lifetime achievement award. Dawn Madahbee Leach will be receiving the Business and Commerce award. (Supplied/Dawn Madahbee Leach)

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