imagineNATIVE congratulates filmmaker Dr. Shirley Cheechoo for winning the Artist Award at the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts last night, June 7, 2012. Selected by a jury from 130 submissions and narrowed down to six finalists, Dr. Cheechoo is truly deserving of this award. She has made tremendous contributions to the arts in Canada and to international Indigenous Cinema, paving way for Indigenous filmmakers and artists as an accomplished playwright, actor, visual artist, writer and director. Dr. Cheechoo was the first Indigenous filmmaker in Canada to direct, produce, write and act in an award-winning dramatic feature. She holds an Honourary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University and is the founder of the De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Company and the Executive Director of the Weengushk Film Institute.