For Immediate Release
December 1, 2009

Recipients of the Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba and the Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award to be honoured on December 9, 2009

WINNIPEG – On Wednesday December 9, 2009, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties will jointly present the Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba and the Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award during a luncheon at the Kum Koon Garden Restaurant.

The awards recognize a group or person in Manitoba who has significantly promoted respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year's Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba recognizes individuals or organizations who, through their innovative approaches, have advanced the human rights of new immigrants to Manitoba. The Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award acknowledges work that has an impact on the advancement of human rights as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom and human rights legislation.

The 2009 Human Rights Commitment Award of Manitoba recipient is Ali Saeed, a former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience who immigrated to Manitoba after being released from imprisonment in Somalia in 1984. His accomplishments are many, including sponsoring over 100 refugees through the Ethiopian Society of Winnipeg, finding employment for refugees and producing and financing the award winning feature length documentary on human rights "Memories of a Generation". He has shared his personal accounts as a survivor of torture with numerous organizations and travelled to Parliament Hill with his daughter to present a petition regarding concerns for women who had disappeared or held as political prisoners in Ethiopia.

The 2009 Sybil Shack Human Rights Youth Award recipient is Anna-Celestrya Carr for her ongoing and dedicated support of the Sisters in Spirit National Campaign, which continues to raise awareness of the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The overall goal of the Sisters in Spirit initiative (SIS) is to reduce the risks and increase the safety and security of all Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Anna-Celestrya has taken this message to many organizations and institutions, including the University of Manitoba when she was vice president of the University’s Aboriginal Students Association. She will be continuing this work as the Aboriginal Representative on the University of Manitoba’s Student Union Council. Anna-Celestrya lives as an example of strength in adversity, and is dedicated to others in every day life.

The MHRC, CHRC and MARL are pleased to also announce that Lieutenant Governor Philip Lee will be this year's guest speaker at the awards lunch. His Honour, a former Manitoba Human Rights Commissioner, has said that it is his "goal to bring attention to the need for equal opportunities for Manitoba youth so they may become equal partners in our society."

The luncheon and award ceremony will acknowledge International Human Rights Day, which follows on December 10th.

Tickets to the event honouring the 2009 award recipients are available at the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. Kum Koon Garden Restaurant is located at 257 King Street, Winnipeg. The luncheon will be from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday December 9, 2009. Tickets are $25.00.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact

Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission