Shannon Simpson (photo by Johnny Guatto)

Shannon Simpson recognized with Mino Bomaadiziwin Award (Indigenous Award) by City of Toronto

Shannon Simpson, senior director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, has been recognized with the Mino Bimaadiziwin Award (Indigenous Award), part of the City of Toronto’s 2023 Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards, for her contributions to the well-being and advancement of Toronto’s urban Indigenous community.

Named after the Anishinaabemowin expression for “living the good life,” the Mino Bimaadiziwin Award recognizes people and organizations that have helped build a more equitable city by advancing reconciliation and justice, addressing discrimination and working to eliminate barriers to equality.

“I moved to Toronto over 25 years ago and the urban Indigenous community has become home to me,” said Simpson, who is Anishinaabe and Scottish and a member of the Michi Saagiig of Alderville First Nation. “I am so humbled by this honour and I look forward to continuing my journey to support, work alongside and learn from my teachers, friends and colleagues in Toronto’s urban community.”

In addition to over a decade working at First Nations House, Simpson co-chaired the Indigenous Students Working Group for U of T’s Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee and is currently leading an Indigenous Student Advisory Circle. She played pivotal roles in the renovation of First Nations House and the Ziibiing landscape project, and championed a recent initiative that will cover the cost of tuition for members of nine First Nations communities.

“Since 2003, Shannon has led cumulative and substantial change to make our university a place where members of Indigenous communities feel supported, and where non-Indigenous students and employees are well-prepared to follow the path to reconciliation,” said Kelly Hannah-Moffat, vice-president of people strategy, equity & culture. “She is a patient advocate and innovative and inspiring leader.”