Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of British Columbia stands by a canoe carved by former lieutenant governor Steven Point. The canoe named Shxwtitostel (pronounced: Schwe-tea-tos-tel) means “a safe place to cross the river” in Halq’eméylem and is currently on display at the B.C. Legislature building. (Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia photo)

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of British Columbia stands by a canoe carved by former lieutenant governor Steven Point. The canoe named Shxwtitostel (pronounced: Schwe-tea-tos-tel) means “a safe place to cross the river” in Halq’eméylem and is currently on display at the B.C. Legislature building. (Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia photo)

New award launched to celebrate champions of reconciliation in B.C.

Reconciliation Award launched by Lieutenant Governor, BC Achievement Foundation

A new prestigious award in B.C. will recognize individuals and organizations that have strived to further reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award was launched Nov. 12 by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and BC Achievement Foundation.

Honorable Janet Austin said she identified reconciliation as one of her key mandates when she accepted the role of Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

“It’s been important to me personally and it’s something that I have attempted to work on in the past before and it’s also something that was a particular project of previous lieutenant-governor Steven Point.”

A member of the Stó:lō Nation, Point served as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of B.C.and had a vision for such an award in which he is being credited as a founder.

Read More: Tsilhqot’in Nation and New Westminster become sister communities

In April 2010 Premier Gordon Campbell formally accepted a hand-carved red cedar canoe as a gift to all British Columbians made by Point symbolizing reconciliation with the understanding that ‘we are all in the same canoe’ and must “paddle together to move forward.”

“Our world and its issues are not apart from us but rather are a part of who we are,” Point said in a news release, noting he is proud to witness the launch of the B.C. Reconciliation Award.

“We must not stand by and observe the world but rather take steps to bring positive change.”

Austin said she believes the country is at a pivotal time in understanding the history of colonialism which has created difficulties and resulted in incredible suffering throughout Indigenous communities across Canada.

“And that needs to be changed,” she said.

By recognizing the truths of past wrongs and showcasing examples of how to make things right others will be inspired to follow said BC Achievement Foundation board member Judith Sayers.

A selection committee for the award will include representation by Indigenous elders, First Nations leadership and government partners, noted the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

Nominations will be accepted until Jan 15, 2021, with recipients anticipated to be announced in spring or early summer.

Read More: B.C. touts Indigenous reconciliation in protest-delayed throne speech


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

British ColumbiaIndigenous reconcilliation

Just Posted

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Most Read