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Congratulations to Naomi, Ruth and Kakeka!

winners epc 2016

Naomi Sayers (
age 30+ category) of Ottawa, ON is a law school student and legal advocate for Indigenous women. She regularly writes at www.kwetoday.com and has written for national and local publications. “Kwe”, denoting woman in Anishinaabemowin, is a symbol for her identity as a fierce Indigenous feminist. Everyday Political Citizen juror Andrew McIntyre said: “Naomi’s personal story is inspiring. I have no doubt that her advocacy is empowering the many communities she is a part of by challenging stigmas and ensuring dignity for all Canadians. I believe that Naomi has much to teach Canada about becoming a more inclusive, understanding country.” With her public legal education initiative, Between the Lines, Naomi ensures her community has tools to resist injustice.

Ruth Kaviok (age 18-29 category) of Arviat, NU knows climate change makes the wildlife and people of Arviat vulnerable. Blending traditional Inuit knowledge with the scientific study of climate, she promotes a cross-cultural understanding of environmental issues.  Her unique approach uses experiential learning and storytelling to make sustainability and environmentalism come alive to Inuit and non-Inuit communities alike.  “Ruth’s contributions to her community and Indigenous youth issues reminds us to look beyond our own experiences and embrace the knowledge of those who were here before us,” said Everyday Political Citizen juror Barry Peters.

Kakeka Thundersky (under 18 category) of Winnipeg, MB was inspired to begin volunteering in her neighbourhood after the passing of her mother, a lifelong grassroots activist, earlier this year. She is recognized for her commitment to volunteering with numerous charities in the neighbourhood and her motivation to shine a light on the good in her community. “Out of tragedy Kakeka chose to try and improve the lives of those around her. To take action like this, to become a leader among your peers when—even at the best of times— it is so easy to retreat into your own world, is something I greatly admire,” said Rick Mercer, Everyday Political Citizen juror.

The three runners-up this year are Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (age 30+ category) of Iqaluit, NU for making documentaries to tell the stories of activism in Nunavut; Caleb Turner (age 18-29 category) of Moose Cree First Nation for his work to improving the lives of youth in his community; and Emma Mogus (under 18 category) of Oakville, ON for delivering 150,000 books through Books with No Bounds.

Meet the 2016 Shortlist

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Meet the Jury

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What is the EPCitizen project?
Everyday Political Citizen (EPCitizen) is a project to tell local stories about Canadians' participation in their democracy. At a time when countries across the world are facing crises in their democracies, we want to showcase the individuals holding up Canada's strong political system and contributing to our rich social fabric. Samara profiles the advocates, educators, mobilizers and politicos through traditional and social media. We hope these everyday stories will inspire other Canadians to get involved in Canada's democracy. 

How does it work?
Through the Fall of 2016, Samara crowdsourced nominations for EPCitizens. In November, a jury of prominent Canadians will select shortlists in three age categories (under 18, 18-29, 30+). Finally, on December 8th, 2016, Rick Mercer annouced the winners of the Everyday Political Citizen project. 

Who is an EPCitizen?
EPCitizens are ordinary citizens working in different ways to make Canadian democracy better.

Do you know a Hana? She’s a young newcomer, advocating on behalf of her peers at her local school board. What about someone like Mark? He uses creative tools to educate his community about the political process. Or another, Sanaa? She brings out the people in her community by the hundreds to mobilize around issues they care about.

Meet the 2016 EPCitizen nominees. 

Has this happened before?
Yes! This year will boast EPCitizen's fourth annual contest. In the past three years, we've received over 800 nominations representing every province and territory in Canada. Scroll through our blog to read last year's nominations. 

Watch Rick Mercer name the 2015 EPCitizen winners

Media impact

Through Everyday Political Citizen, we want to share the most inspiring stories of political citizenship with the entire country.  Here are just a few of those stories from the last three years:

Cree youth mentor Cory Nicotine appeared on the APTN National news. Luke, founder of StopGap Ramp, spoke to the Toronto Star and As it Happens. Vancouver School Board ambassador Hana joined the two men in an interview in the National Post. Runners-up Alyssa Frampton, Abdikadir Warsame and Tim Otitoju, and Jorgina Sunn were also featured in local news.

During the 2014 contest, Postmedia covered the whole shortlist that year. Metro Edmonton talked to 2014 youth winner Nessa Deans while the Chronicle Herald caught up with the year's adult winner Tim Halman.

For a complete (and certainly exhaustive) compilation of EPCitizen in the media, take a look at our News Coverage page

EPCitizen Sponsors

The Everyday Political Citizen project would be impossible without contributions from generous sponsors. Funding helps us run our website, create promotional materials, convene events around everyday political citizenship and build the community of Canadians who are passionate about positive politics.

We would like to thank RBC Foundation for their donation, sponsors Bennett Jones and Price Waterhouse Cooper and the in-kind support of The TyeeiPolitics, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Civic Action.

650x70 px - Sponsors (Oct 11)