June 25, 2024

Recipients of 2023 Hummingbird Awards Announced

The 2023 Hummingbird Awards Ceremony took place during our March with Us in Montreal event on March 19, 2024.  

The Hummingbird Award honours major contributions to the advancement of women, girls and gender-diverse people with disabilities and inspires sustained effort to this cause. 

View recipients from previous years.

This year, DAWN Canada presented two awards in separate categories, Individual and Organizational:

2023 Hummingbird Award, Individual Recipient - Sandra Pronteau  

Photo of Sandra Pronteau “Sandra has been a bright spot in the Hummingbird Feminist Disability Coalition since we first got to know her. She demonstrates strong leadership in the network and embodies all the qualities the award calls for. Her ongoing and continuous commitment to always thinking about and centring women, girls and gender-diverse people with disabilities deserves recognition and celebration.” 



A Cree-Metis Indigenous lady, hailing from The Pas, MB, and a survivor of the 60's Scoop, grew up in Winnipeg before relocating to BC in the mid-1980s. She is the proud mother of four adult children and a grandparent to one. 

Known for her past activism within the Vancouver School Board (VSB), advocating for inner-city families facing daily socio-economic challenges and fighting for equal education rights, she learned to be proactive in various areas while being a young mother. This included Indigenous and social issues, as well as supporting special needs children. 

In the mid-90s, she pursued further education, attending the Native Education Centre and earning her Family Community Counselling certificate. 

Throughout the years, she immersed herself in volunteer work in the DTES area and served as a Support Worker at Union Gospel Mission (UGM) for nearly nine years within the Women & Family Services Department's Stabilization Program. In the early spring, she provided GBV Training with Battered Women Support Services (BWSS), drawing from her own lived experience with domestic violence from her teenage to adult years. She acknowledges the Surrey Women Centre - Victim Services as a tremendous source of support during the early 2000s. 

Currently, she is a member of DAWN CANADA/Canadian Feminist Disability Coalition and serves on the Board of Directors for Aboriginal Women Action Network (AWAN) and Disability Foundation Canada. 

She firmly believes that through exploration, we can uncover our special abilities and excel in whatever endeavors we pursue in life. With the right support and companionship, women can be empowered to achieve their goals. 

Watch the video of Sandra Pronteau receiving the honor -


2023 Hummingbird Award, Organizational Recipient – Live Work Well Research Centre 

Logo of the Live Work Well Research Centre which features a green and blue dragonfly graphic “Live Work Well Research Center (LWWRC) has become an important partner and ally to our work and for women, girls and gender-diverse people with disabilities in Canada. Their leadership and initiatives have been impactful not only for the work we do at DAWN Canada, but for our partners as well. LWWRC demonstrates a real understanding of what partnership is by putting forward time, resources and passion to affect real change. The LWWRC’s initiative on livelihoods has had a big impact on our research and framework, highlighting the importance of economic health and accessibility for women, girls and gender-diverse people with disabilities.” 


The award was received by Professor Deborah Stienstra on behalf of the Live Work Well Research Centre. 


Deborah Stienstra holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work at the University of Guelph, where she is the Director of the Live Work Well Research Centre and Professor of Political Science. She is the author of About Canada: Disability Rights (Fernwood, 2020). Her research and publications explore the intersections of disabilities, gender, childhood, and Indigenousness, identifying barriers to, as well as possibilities for, engagement and transformative change. 

About the Centre 

For twenty years, the Live Work Well Research Centre, located at the University of Guelph, has been dedicated to helping families, jobs, and living spaces thrive. They study different aspects of life, like how work affects families and what makes communities strong. Through their research and teaching, they work to make sure everyone has the support they need to live well. 

Below: Photo of Professor Deborah Stienstra and Bonnie Brayton at the DAWN Canada's Montreal office on June 12, 2024 for the presentation of the 2023 Hummingbird Award - designed by George Stokes - to the Live Work Well Research Center. 

Photo of Bonnie Brayton and Deborah Stienstra posing together and holding the Hummingbird Award for the Live Work Well Research Centre

With the inauguration of our Hummingbird Feminist Disability Coalition, we hope these conversations and connections continue to grow!

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