Meet the 2016 Winners

Meet the 2016 Winners

Celebrating the many ways in which ordinary people make their communities better and Canada's democracy stronger, the fourth annual Everyday Political Citizen contest received 240 nominations from across the country.


Voted on by a jury of 21 prominent Canadians, including author Margaret Atwood, political satirist Rick Mercer and NHL defenseman Andrew Ference, the winners of the 2016 Everyday Political Citizen contest are Ottawa’s legal advocate Naomi Sayers (age 30+ category), Nunavut’s climate change educator Ruth Kaviok (age 18-29 category) and Winnipeg’s community mobilizer Kakeka Thundersky (under 18 category). Learn more about Naomi, Ruth and Kakeka below.

Samara congratulates the winners and nominees for their contributions to our democracy!



Naomi Sayers (age 30+ category) of Ottawa, ON is a law school student and legal advocate for Indigenous women. She regularly writes at 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 in the 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.

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Samara's Everyday Political Citizen
 celebrates positive political role models and builds a culture of positive politics in Canada. The project aims to recognize the diversity of politics and democracy in Canada, crowd-sourcing hundreds of nominations for political citizens and celebrating some of the many thousands of ordinary people engaging in big and small ways in this country's rich political culture. 

If you have any questions about Samara's Everyday Political Citizen, please contact Jenn at [email protected].

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