Darlene Angeconeb named 2021 Jack McKenzie Memorial Award recipient
Tim Brody - Editor
Darlene Angeconeb is this year’s recipient of the John Alexander “Jack” McKenzie Memorial Award.
Presented annually by the Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout, the award recognizes outstanding volunteerism, as exemplified by the award’s namesake.
Normally presented during the opening ceremonies of the Blueberry Festival, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotary Club of Sioux Lookout President Kirk Drew named Angeconeb this year’s recipient in a virtual Opening Ceremonies video posted to the Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival Facebook page on July 30.
Angeconeb has been the Chair of the Sioux Lookout Police Services Board since 2017 and has been the Chair of the Mayor’s Committee for Truth and Reconciliation since 2016. She started and co-ordinates the Makwa Street Patrol, is a member of Sioux Lookout Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan Working Group, is a member of the Healthy Communities Task Force, and is a member of the Sioux Lookout Situation Table.
Angeconeb has been the organizer of “Orange Shirt Day” activities in Sioux Lookout since 2017.
Angeconeb was a member of the former Sioux Lookout Anti-Racism Committee for more than 20 years.
The nomination for Angeconeb states, “Darlene is the chair of both the Police Services Board and Mayor’s Committee for Truth and Reconciliation. Both committees have been working on some of the most difficult issues faced by our Municipality. As chair she moves the work of both committees forward while ensuring all perspectives are considered.
“A Residential School survivor herself, Darlene spent a week in early June at the Memorial set up for the Children Lost at Residential Schools educating people and supporting survivors.”
Angeconeb was recognized by Nishnawbe Aski Nation as a woman leader in January.
“Darlene was born in Sioux Lookout and is a Lac Seul First Nation band member residing in Sioux Lookout. She was sent to the Pelican Lake Indian Residential School at the age of six. During that time, she attended schools in Sioux Lookout (Wellington and Central Public Schools and one year at Queen Elizabeth District High School). She completed high school in Sault Ste. Marie and later studied Fine Art at Ontario College of Art and then Political Science at Algoma and Laurentian Universities,” her nomination reads.
“Darlene has worked for Equay-Wuk Women’s Group since 1999. She has filled the role of Acting Director since 2012. The position has been “acting” due to the fact that it is not funded, except when project funding is received. Darlene continues even between projects as she is dedicated to community development and especially the empowerment of women.
“One of her remarkable contributions is how she seamlessly acts as a bridge between the Sioux Lookout Indigenous agencies/people and the Municipal/mainstream.”
Other nominees for the 2021 Jack McKenzie Award included Tommy Kuzemczak, Charron Sippola and Elizabeth Ward.
Previous recipients of the Jack McKenzie Memorial Award have included: 1992 - Margaret Atwood, 1993 - Rose Caswell, 1994 - Jack Carroll, 1995 - June Wallace, 1996 - Ella Williams, 1997 - Les Johnston, 1998 - Marnie Hoey, 1999 - Beth Daley, 2000 - Wally Glena, 2001 - Emma Bowes, 2002 - Muriel Anderson and Wayne C. Pearen, 2003 - Paul Brown, 2004 - Mario Facca, 2005 - Rachel George, 2006 - John D.Cole, 2007 - Jack Reek, 2008 - Attilio Durante, 2009 - Christine Hoey, 2010 - Eileen Jefferies, 2011 - Sandra Lockhart, 2012 - Althea George, 2013 - Peggy Sanders, 2014 - Gail Roy, 2015 - Florence Woolner, Terry Lynne Jewell, Aileen Urquhart, and Faith Ferre, 2016 - Michela Pauselli Salter, 2017 - Nordic Nomads Ski Club - Ron Laverty and John Davies, 2018 - Bruce George, 2019 - Ron Lemmon, and 2020 – Geraldine Morgan.