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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Michelle Thorne of Fernie Distillers with some Griz-themed cocktails available for Griz Days 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Griz Days comes to town

While mostly virtual, there’s Griz-themed food and drink around town

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

(L-R) Shawna Klein, Elkford Branch Manager; Stephen Fairbairn, Director at EKC and also Secretary of the Elkford Housing Society; Kim Bauer, Vice President, Elkford Housing Society; Donita Orsten, Staff Representative of the Legacy Celebration Committee. (Image contributed by EKC)
EKC donates $10,000 to Elkford Housing Society

The society is working towards constructing 22 homes for seniors in Elkford

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre (VIAC) is gearing up for another season of providing avalanche safety information. Black Press file photo
Black Diamond, PIEPS issue recall for avalanche transceivers

PIEPS said that avalanche incidents in 2017 and 2020 had prompted the recall, but defended the product

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read