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

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is looking to provide food waste collection and composting programs in the region. (Contributed photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen applies for grants for food waste composting projects

Work includes creating facilities and implementing curbside collection of residential food wastes

Painted Rock Estate Winery has had their “Red Icon” Merlot blend recognized as one of the country’s best wines. (Painted Rock Winery / Facebook)
Penticton winery’s Merlot blend recognized as Canada’s best

Decanter’s 2020 ‘Wine of the Year’ list includes only one Canadian wine, and its local

Even the Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Letter: Wear a mask

Letter to the editor from head of Okanagan - Skaha Teacher’s Union

Giant's Head Elementary
Second COVID-19 case at Giant’s Head Elementary

Letter sent to parents Dec. 3 about the recent case

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty ventilators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

Numerous businesses, including the Roxie movie theater, have closed to try and stop spread of COVID-19. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke COVID-19 cases tick slowly up to 49

An increase of only three cases since Nov. 30

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

The Grinch was stolen Wednesday and returned sometime in the night on Friday. (Hughes photo - Facebook)
The Grinch has been returned to Penticton home

“I guess someone’s heart grew three times that night” says April Hughes

An Armstrong resident shared video of a beaver gnawing away on a stick to Facebook Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Robyn Civic Adnoh photo)
WATCH: Beaver gnaws away in Armstrong wetlands

A resident captured video of a beaver chewing happily in a local creek Friday

The South Skaha Place project provides 26 units of affordable housing for independent seniors in Okanagan Falls. Residents of Okanagan Falls are asking for a study about the costs and benefits of incorporating the small community south of Penticton. (Submitted photo)
Okanagan Falls residents ask for incorporation study

Community south of Penticton has looked at incorporation in the past

Most Read