Indigenous Shining Student

Grade 12 Student, Sheldon Steinhauer, Honored to Receive the 2017 Indigenous Shining Student Award

By: Lexi Wright

The annual Indigenous Shining Student Award recognizes First Nations, Métis and Inuit students who are shining examples in their communities and this year’s recipient Sheldon Steinhauer, is shining more than ever.

Currently a grade twelve student at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Sheldon is extremely passionate about music and the arts, and exhibits extraordinary talent in both areas.

Sheldon was selected from 60 students who were nominated by school jurisdictions across the province. The award is presented by the Alberta School Boards Association.

Sheldon began recognizing his artistic abilities in middle school, drawing in his notebook for hours on end, but it wasn’t until high school when Sheldon began taking art classes.

“In grade ten I took my first art class at Lindsay Thurber. Then I just learned a couple things and I started progressing. I started becoming really good at art by just practicing and it felt awesome”, says Sheldon. 

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Sheldon’s artwork often incorporates Indigenous themes, imagery, and symbols.

Heavily influenced by his Cree heritage and language, Sheldon tries to incorporate his Indigenous roots into his art as much as possible.

“My culture is very artistic. We express ourselves in different ways from crafting,making dream catchers, sculpting, and other  traditional things. I feel connected if I make a cultural piece about Aboriginal art - I can relate to that in some way”, says Sheldon.

Being a high school student isn’t always easy, yet some of Sheldon’s most gratifying school moments stem from personal challenges and times of adversity.

“There are moments when I think, I could just drop this, I could stop doing this, but then I don't want to having that feeling of incompletion. I don't want to feel like I could have finished something but I chose not too. Those moments where I actually complete my goals, those are moments where I'm really proud of myself”, Sheldon adds.

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Sheldon was recently recognized for his achievement at the May 10th school board meeting.

Persevering in his studies has lead Sheldon down a creative path for the future, one he hopes will combine both his creativity for art and music.

“I'm not completely sure what I want to do yet, I'm still thinking of different things. I want to do something with my art and music and I just want to explore my possibilities”.

As a recipient of this award, Sheldon was invited to attend a youth conference focusing on leadership and change, and Sheldon says he has never felt as honored in his life.

“I feel amazing - it's hard to explain in words. I feel really honoured and proud of myself for what I've accomplished”.