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​​​​​​​Tk’emlúps, Kamloops recipients of 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award

The award recognizes exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts
canoe legislature
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.

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops are among six recipients of the 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award.

The award recognizes six extraordinary individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts.

The awards are handed out by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in partnership with BC Achievement Foundation.

Also being honoured alongside Tk’emlúps and Kamloops are:

• Kwuntiltunaat, Kim Baird (Tsawwassen);

• T̓łaḵwagila, Chief Bill Cranmer (Alert Bay);

• Brendan Eshom (Prince Rupert);

• * Atomic Cartoons in partnership with GBH (Vancouver);

• DIVERSEcity-Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (Surrey).

The selection committee had this to say about the relationship between the City of Kamloops and Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc:

"For more than a decade, efforts have been demonstrated through collaborative initiatives in areas of protocol, communication, community-to-community and knowledge-sharing meetings, cultural heritage, celebrations, and through shared service agreements including fire protection, transit, and sanitary sewer management.
These opportunities are planned and initiated through transparent processes that acknowledge and celebrate commitments and sharing of TteS’s culture, values, and history to the wider public. One of the first official acknowledgements was the signing of the Statement of Political Relationship by the Mayor of Kamloops and TteS Chief in 1991. The ongoing relationship has paved the way for open and ongoing conversations about shared interests and concerns ever since."

"Reconciliation builds relationships and bridges the gap between two worlds through the efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” said Cloy-e-iis, Judith Sayers, board member of the BC Achievement Foundation.

“By recognizing the truths of past wrongs and showcasing examples of how to make things right, others will be inspired to follow.”

The BC Achievement Foundation has several programs honouring excellence and inspiring achievement throughout British Columbia, including the Indigenous Business Award and the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art.

“The 2022 recipients represent elders and youth, partnership and leadership,” B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin said. “They showcase creative ways of educating young generations and new Canadians on the history and culture of Indigenous people, ensuring all are included on the journey of reconciliation.”

The lieutenant governor has chosen reconciliation as one of the key priorities of her mandate. The commitment includes participation in promotion of public awareness of the ongoing journey of reconciliation and developing a legacy through the creation of the award.

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th lieutenant governor of British Columbia and a founder of the award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, which is on display at the Parliament Buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that "we are all in the same canoe" and must "paddle together" to move forward.

In honour of his legacy, this year's recipients will receive a print of a canoe paddle beaded by Dene and Carrier artist Crystal Behn, who is the Emerging Artist recipient of the 2021 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art.

The selection committee for the 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award, which includes representation from Indigenous elders and leadership consists of:

• p̓i·q̓, Dr. Christopher Horsethief- Ktunaxa Nation;

• T’esóts'en, Patrick Kelly-Leq'á:mel Nation;

• Nicole McLaren-Métis Nation;

• Cloy-e-iis, Dr. Judith Sayers-Hupacasath Nation;

• T,lalisam, Dr. Kim van der Woerd-‘Na̲mg̲is Nation.