A groundbreaking project in Surrey is among winners of the 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award.
The creation of the “Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers” has earned the award for Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP), run by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society.
The goal of the guide is to address a lack of educational resources about First Peoples in Canada, created from an Indigenous perspective.
“The first of its kind in Surrey, the 46-page guide provides information on histories and current challenges of Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada, and addresses common misconceptions and stereotypes about the First Peoples, and also celebrates Indigenous brilliance and excellence,” explains a post on the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.’s website.
On Jan. 12, Surrey LIP’s senior manager, Lenya Wilks, and DIVERSEcity CEO Neelam Sahota attended an awards ceremony at Government House in Victoria, in partnership with BC Achievement Foundation. Fifteen award winners for 2021 and 2022 were honoured at the event, which included speeches by Premier David Eby, Lt. Gov. Janet Austin, Hereditary Chief Sophie Pierre, T’esóts’en Patrick Kelly and Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir.
The Surrey guide, designed by Nahanee Creative with funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), was created and compiled by Jeska Slater.
Published in English in June 2021, the guide provides information on histories and current challenges of Indigenous, Métis and Inuit people in Canada, and addresses common misconceptions and stereotypes about the First Peoples. The document has since been translated into Punjabi, Tagalog and Mandarin.
The British Columbia Reconciliation Award recognizes “individuals, groups and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts.”
Other award winners for 2022 are Kwuntiltunaat Kim Baird, T̓łaḵwagila Chief Bill Cranmer, Brendan Eshom, Atomic Cartoons in partnership with GBH, and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops.
The 2021 award winners are Xele’milh-Doris Paul, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Corey Payette, Dawn Drummond, David Suzuki, Cpl. Christopher Voller, Carrier Sekani Family Services, xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) Research Team, and Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast.
The nomination period for the 2023 awards is open until Jan. 20, 2023, on bcachievement.com.