A path forward: The British Columbia Reconciliation Award

Increased efforts aimed at reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, led by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 report and BC’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (November 2019) are rising to the forefront of our collective conversations and actions.  

It’s important that the work being done around reconciliation in this province be recognized, shared and celebrated in a way that inspires others to do the same. The newly established British Columbia Reconciliation Award launched in November 2020, does just this. The BC Reconciliation Award is a partnership between BC Achievement and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of BC

The Honourable Janet Austin, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, along with BC Achievement board member, Kekinsuqs Judith Sayers, President of the Nuu chah Nulth Tribal Council together spoke to Stephen Quinn of CBC about the Award program last month. Her Honour shared Her belief that the partnership is a natural place to house the Award program, “It’s a neutral nonpartisan platform that’s above politics. But I also believe that it’s important and appropriate for me as the representative of the Crown to advance reconciliation as a way to honouring the intent and the spirit of the historic relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. It’s also one of three themes that I’ve chosen to champion during my mandate and I think of it as an affirmation of the respect and goodwill that we want to encourage and the desire to advance reconciliation.” 

The Award program is open to individuals, groups and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering Truth and Reconciliation in the Province of British Columbia and/or inspired others to do so. There already exists a number of examples of reconciliation in BC, as Kekinusuqs Judith Sayers, can attest. “I think you see any number of initiatives between First Nations and municipalities in building tourism, or business or models of working together. You can see some organizations working with Indigenous peoples to learn about [and] embrace Indigenous peoples to come and talk to them and educate them, and so there’s going to be many varied attempts of on working on reconciliation that we’re going to need to choose from.”  

The Award program is a path forward, an opportunity to recognize the truth of the past and create hope for the future: 

 “I think we need to create a positive atmosphere where we need to showcase those people who are working with Indigenous peoples to bring true reconciliation according to what reconciliation of the Indigenous peoples want…and I think that’s want we want to do here… we want to be innovative and we want to be creative…let’s showcase and show other people it’s possible so that they can do the same thing in their communities.”  Kekinusuqs Judith Sayers

You can nominate now for the 2021 British Columbia Reconciliation Award at bcachievement.com. Nominations are online and open until January 15th.   

Indigenous Business Award of Distinction: Shifting the Narrative

“When we view Indigenous people as economic powerhouses it shifts the narrative of hundreds of years as a problem and burden to the system to positions of powerful economic strength.”   2020 Laureate, Carol Anne Hilton 

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of the The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. A dynamic national Indigenous leader and senior advisor, Carol Anne has an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. She is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.  

Advocating for #indigenomics – the building and strengthening of Indigenous economies – Carol Anne is also the author of ‘Indigenomics: Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’. Leading by example, Carol Anne sees business as the pathway to opportunity for Indigenous peoples to see themselves in their future. 

A highly sought-after advisor, strategist, facilitator and speaker. Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with an “Outstanding Business Achievement” Award from BC Achievement in 2013, a ‘Creating Wealth Award’ from the National Indigenous Council of Elders, a ’Business of the Year Award” from the Nuu chah nulth Economic Development Corporation and most recently the national Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.  

The Award of Distinction is presented to a person who, over his or her career, has made a significant difference in the Indigenous business community through his or her entrepreneurial endeavours and, in doing so, serves as a leader, role model, mentor and inspiration. The individual may be a pioneer in his or her business activities, a successful entrepreneur, or an individual who has been instrumental in supporting or creating Indigenous business activities in British Columbia. 

Carol Anne joins the following IBA Award of Distinction Alumni: 

2009 Dorothy Grant & Angelique Merasty Levac 
2010 Dolly (Watts) McRae and John Harper 
2011 Chief Clarence Louie 
2012 Chief Councillor Garry Reece 
2013 Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre & Ruth Williams 
2014 Councillor Garry Feschuk 
2015 James Walkus 
2016 Robert Louie
2017 Chief Gibby Jacob 
2018 Chief Gordon Planes 
2019 Paulette Flamond 

All recipients of the 2020 Indigenous Business Award and their award categories can be found at bcachievement.com