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Awards recognize some of the brightest talents and career achievements in Canada's Aboriginal community
CIBC proud to be lead corporate sponsor of annual
       National Aboriginal Achievement Awards for 16th consecutive yearTORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is proudly continuing its
lead sponsorship of the annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards
( The 16th annual awards carry on the
tradition of recognizing outstanding career achievements of First Nations,
Inuit and Métis people in diverse occupations, including one award given to a
lifetime achievement recipient and one for an outstanding youth achiever. In
addition to acknowledging some of the Aboriginal community's brightest
talents, the awards aim to build self esteem and pride and provide valuable
role models for Aboriginal youth.
    This year's celebration for the 15 recipients of the 2009 National
Aboriginal Achievement Awards took place at the Manitoba Centennial Concert
Hall and will be broadcast on Global Television on Saturday March 21 at 8.
p.m. in all time zones as well as on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television
Network) at various times across the country.
    "Every year the jury selects an extraordinary group of recipients who
reveal such outstanding talent and dedicated service," said Roberta Jamieson,
President and CEO of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. "I know
that by honouring their achievement we will continue to inspire many others,
just waiting to demonstrate their potential - that's why the work of the
Foundation in providing bursaries to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students
is so essential."
    "We are pleased to play a role in recognizing the significant
achievements of the award recipients," said Gerry McCaughey, CIBC's President
and Chief Executive Officer. "These individuals have excelled in their
respective fields, ranging from business to the arts, media, the environment,
and law and justice. In doing so, they have made a valuable contribution to
Canada's development while also setting an important example in their
communities."This year's award recipients include:

    1.  The Rev. Stan Cuthand, B.Th., Little Pine First Nation, SK -
        Lifetime Achievement Award
    2.  Chelsea Lavallée, Southwest Region Métis Manitoba Region -
        Special Youth Award
    3.  Melanie Jackson, Sakimay First Nation, SK - Arts (shared)
    4.  Dennis Jackson, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, SK - Arts (shared)
    5.  Allan McLeod, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, MB - Business & Commerce
    6.  Stephen Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation, NB - Culture, Heritage &
    7.  Cecil King, Wikwemikong, ON - Education
    8.  Gordon W. Prest, Sto:Lo Nation, BC - Environment & Natural Resources
    9.  Candace Grier-Lowe, Norway House First Nation, MB - Health
    10. Delia Opekokew, Canoe Lake Cree Nation, SK. - Law & Justice
    11. Carol Morin, Sandy Bay, SK - Media & Communications
    12. Paul Okalik, Iqaluit, NU - Politics
    13. Joan Glode, Acadia First Nation, NS - Public Service
    14. Adam Sioui, Huron Wendat First Nation, QC - Sports
    15. Mervin J. Dewasha, Wahta Mohawk Territory, ON - Technology & TradesThe National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) is a nationally
registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to deliver
programs that provide the tools necessary for Aboriginal peoples, especially
youth to achieve their potential. Since 1985 the Foundation through its
Education Program has awarded more than $32-million in scholarships and
bursaries to more than 8,400 First Nations, Inuit and Métis students
nationwide. NAAF's key initiatives include: The National Aboriginal
Achievement Awards (NAAA) a national annual broadcast celebrating 14 achievers
in a multitude of career areas including a special youth award and an award
for lifetime achievement; Taking Pulse joins NAAF with industry to present
career options in specific growth sectors through a series of short
documentaries and supporting curriculum materials with the aim of recruiting
First Nations, Inuit & Métis youth; and Blueprint for the Future (BFF) a
series of one-day career fairs that motivate and inspire First Nations, Inuit
and Métis high school students with valuable resources and information on
career opportunities. Over 30,000 students have attended these exciting youth
oriented events to date nationwide.

    CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our
employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities
through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee
commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run
for the Cure, the CIBC World Markets Children's Foundation and United Way, we
are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the
country. In 2008, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million
worldwide to charitable and nonprofit initiatives. Of this, more than $27
million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local
organizations. To learn more, visit

For further information:
For further information: Rob McLeod, Senior Director, Communications and
Public Affairs, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-3714 or or Jamie
Monastyrski, Director of Communications and Media, National Aboriginal
Achievement Foundation, Tel: (416) 926-0775 ext. 238,