Sammy Gehue, a Mi’kmaq from Indian Brook (Sipekne’katik Band), was diagnosed soon after his birth with a rare and incurable blood disease known as Fanconi’s Anemia. Sammy showed great determination fighting this illness and as a result an initiative called the “Sammy Gehue Achievement Awards” were developed and implemented in 1993. These awards honor Sammy’s strength and determination and are supported by the Chiefs of The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and by the Staff.
The awards are given each year to young people, who are nominated, that best exemplify the strength and determination that is needed to overcome a disadvantage such as Sammy exhibited. Academic, sports, humanitarian, environmental, music and arts are only a few areas that children are recognized for their achievements.
Mi’kmaw children between the ages of five and twelve living in Nova Scotia are qualified to be nominated. In 2000 a Grade 12 Graduate Scholarship award was created. First Nations students living on Reserve in Nova Scotia, who are graduating, and, plan to continue their studies in a post-secondary setting, are eligible to apply for this award.
Sammy and his mother Stephanie (Ginger) attended the first awards ceremony and presented the winners with trophies and cheques. In December 1993, Sammy lost his battle with his illness at the age of seven. His spirit continues through the Annual Sammy Gehue Achievement Awards.
These awards are supported in part by the casual day funds of The CMM employees.