One of the recipients the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee’s Urban Indigenous Leadership Award was Surrey Aboriginal Group of Elders. (Submitted photo: Joanne Mills)

First Nations

Awards recognize urban Indigenous advocates in Surrey

Recipients are Kwantlen Chief Marilyn Gabriel and family; Surrey Aboriginal Group of Elders

Two recipients have been recognized for their “long-standing leadership and exceptional dedication to the urban Indigenous and Métis community in Surrey,” according to the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee.

The Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) recognizes two individuals or groups each year for the Urban Indigenous Leadership Award, which was held at Bear Creek Park with a community celebration.

The 2019 award recipients are Surrey Aboriginal Group of Elders (SAGE) and Kwantlen First Nation Chief Marilyn Gabriel, along with her husband Kevin Kelly and one of her eight children Michael Kelly Gabriel.

SAGE, according to a release from SUILC, states the group has been working together for the past five years to “advocate on behalf of the health of elders in Surrey, support each other and represent the urban elder population.”

SUILC said elders at SAGE “share their wisdom and provide guidance” to members of the urban Indigenous community in Surrey through participating in programs and activities.

Some of the SAGE members sit as “Star Elders” with the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Circle 5, “supporting culturally appropriate care for Indigenous children and families.”

The release also states that SAGE elders have been an “integral part” of Skookum Lab, which is “one of the first Indigenous social innovation labs in North America.”

Marilyn Gabriel is the hereditary chief of Kwantlen First Nation, and her traditional name is Stakwsan. She holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and has been Kwantlen First Nation council member since 1989 and a chief since 1993, states the release from SUILC.

“Chief Gabriel, Kevin and Michael have shown a strong commitment to the urban Indigenous community in Surrey. In particular they have shown strong compassion and support for Indigenous youth, including hosting youth at Kwantlen to connect them to Indigenous culture,” according to the committee.

The Gabriels, SUILC said, often welcome people into the Kwantlen territory at events throughout Surrey.

“They have a deep commitment to sharing their cultural traditions and teachings with the broader Surrey community,” the release states. “Chief Gabriel, Kevin and Michael always speak from the heart, with respect, and a strong sense of connection to land, culture and people.”

For more information on Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee, visit surrey.ca/indigenous.

READ ALSO: A day for orange shirts at Surrey City Hall to ‘remember the injustices of the past’, Sept. 26, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

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

Just Posted

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

White Rock’s top cop calls for ‘healthcare led intervention model’

Review aims for better understanding of crime related to mental health, substance use

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Most Read