Poised to launch its second year of showcasing individuals and organizations whose work demonstrates a willingness to ‘paddle together’ on the reconciliation journey, the BC Reconciliation Award program is ready to elevate excellence and inspire achievement with nominations opening on November 15, 2021. After a year of acknowledging painful truths, now more than ever, reconciliation efforts need to guide the path forward.
Rooted and inspired in the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the program aims to highlight reconciliation success models and inspire change: “we all must paddle in the same canoe”.
2021 awardee xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) Research Team, through Dr. Christopher Horsethief, project co-lead and Ktunaxa scholar, shares the impact of receiving the BC Reconciliation Award:
“The ultimate goal of our project is a parity between Western and Indigenous conceptualizations of health, wellness and resilience. This is reconciliation through the lens of scientific and academic research—Western and Ktunaxa counterparts calibrating themselves in response to each other’s input, enunciating conclusions that are robust in the sense that they describe the phenomenon in valid terms for both sides. The British Columbia Reconciliation Award has shone a light on a project that will not preference Western research over Ktunaxa research, or vice versa, thus supporting the idea that both are valid.”
When it came to developing a community-driven and culturally informed approach to decolonizing relationships between health systems and Indigenous Nations, the xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) Research Team recognized early on that commitment to respectful engagement and co-learning would be crucial to success.
The result is a truly reciprocal partnership between the Ktunaxa Nation Council, Interior Health, the University of Victoria and later the University of British Columbia founded on mutual goals of understanding and implementing what reconciliation means and looks like for community health in the Ktunaxa Nation.
For their innovative contributions to reconciliation xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ Research Team was awarded the inaugural British Columbia Reconciliation Award in April 2021. A partnership between BC Achievement and The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the award program recognizes extraordinary individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia, or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts.
“Reconciliation builds relationships and bridges the gap between two worlds through the efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. 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. “The British Columbia Reconciliation Award celebrates innovative and empowering ways to embark on this journey, designed and decided by Indigenous peoples, allowing them to thrive while making the world a better place.”
Nominations for the 2022 BC Reconciliation Award open November 15, 2021 until January 15, 2022 at bcachievement.com #nominatenowbc
Photo: Hands of Elders and team members holding a bucket of bitterroot, a visual embodiment of Reconciliation in coming together, exchanging cultural knowledge, and connecting through a shared activity.
BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.