Pernell Jones-Kegadonse – 2012
Honest, Determined, Courageous
Pernell is a 28-year old volunteer firefighter with the Oneida Fire Department and is dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As a young man, Pernell made choices that compromised his overall well-being, but turned his life around by seeking Elders for guidance and traditional teachings.
Today, Pernell teaches youth to sing, drum, grass dance and regularly attends ceremonies, sun-dances, and sweat lodges. Pernell works with at-risk Aboriginal youth from northern communities helping to teach responsibility and promote a healthy, culturally based lifestyle. Pernell also dedicates some of his time to teaching and coaching boxing to at-risk youth to help them find an outlet and open some door ways to a better quality of life.
Pernell’s believes that “A leader will live their life and show the whole world they have fallen time and time again, only to get back up and lead his or her people with their knowledge.”