How partnerships have helped bring attention to reconciliation 

Highlighting excellence has always been about more than the individual. For 19 years BC Achievement has elevated the communities that nurture and benefit from the people we recognize. The effects of their work ripple outward, building momentum and enriching countless lives.  

BC Achievement continually forges new relationships and adapts its programming to recognize new areas of excellence. The foundation is honoured to partner with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia to recognize those, who from a place of deep respect and understanding, work to further reconciliation in our province.

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award represents BC Achievement’s mission and values, underscored by a deep and urgent sense of purpose. It is a mission shared by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC, who has chosen reconciliation as one of the key priorities of her mandate. This commitment includes participation in promotion of public awareness of the ongoing journey of reconciliation. 

The BC Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl] 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, was created as an enduring symbol of Reconciliation, recognizing, in his words that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward. 

Members of the organizing committee, along with Honourable Steven Point, led in the creation and design of the BC Reconciliation Award, ensuring the award is founded on Indigenous culture and knowledge. 

The reconciliation journey strengthens relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Recognizing past colonial injustices and healing those wounds with positive actions will lead to a brighter future. Lasting and meaningful change will take continued, consistent and committed effort. The partnership between the BC Achievement Foundation and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of BC elevates those leaders who inspire, and teaches us all how to paddle in the same canoe. 

We look forward to announcing the 2022 Reconciliation Awardees. Learn more about the inaugural BC Reconciliation Award here. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

The Community Award jury steps into a difficult task 

With so many incredible nominations to read through, the task assigned to the jury members of the 2022 Community Award program was daunting.  

The Community Award program nomination period wrapped up January 31, and without much delay, this year’s jurors were put to work. 

The independent jury had a difficult, demanding and unenviable task. Nominations were reviewed, evaluated and then collectively discussed. Each jury member engaged in a vigorous selection process which culminated in a virtual jury meeting where deliberations were lively, passionate and thorough. Of the completed nominations submitted, the jury selected who best reflects excellence within the program’s unique focus; whose stories are elevated to share their success to all; and whose stories can and do inspire change. 

Jury members shared with us that, above all, their experience fills them with optimism and hope. That the privilege of reading each of the nominations teaches them of the remarkable individuals who are contributing daily to the fabric of the province. One jury member offered, “This nominee has dedicated their entire life and used their platform to inspire others in the city giving back in so many ways and capacities.” Another recognized that “the impact in small towns is different where everyone knows each other, and one person can become such an inspiration.” While another noted that “it’s interesting to see what can happen in a community with less resources.”

From Deas Lake to Invermere, Haida Gwaii to the West Coast Trail to the Lower Mainland and every corner of this province, people are committed to building stronger, more engaged communities. BC Achievement stewards that hope and optimism into action through elevating excellence that inspires achievement. Beginning with efforts of dedicated nominators to the decisions of committed jury members – the process is an active exchange of ideas and reflections on the remarkable and constant community commitment taking place throughout BC. 

We look forward to sharing the 2022 awardees and their stories next month! Keep in touch with us on social media to hear the announcement and learn the stories of these inspiring community leaders! 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

An Indigenous Business partnership that is growing food sovereignty, trades training and youth empowerment

Last year we told you about Indigenous Business Award alumnus Jacob Beaton. Jacob and his wife Jessica, run Tea Creek on a small farm near Kitwanga, between Smithers and Terrace. During COVID, their region was particularly hard hit by food insecurity.  

Jacob and Jessica knew they had to help increase local agricultural production. They set on a mission to make produce more accessible and more affordable to their local community partly by helping train others to use agro-ecological techniques to increase food production. 

To take it a step further, Jacob began collaborating with local First Nations to offer them agricultural training. However, there was a shortage of skilled workers to farm the land so Jacob started a pilot project, called Indigenous Youth Works, teaching agro-ecological techniques and self-reliance. 

Taking it a step-further, Tea Creek has now partnered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) through their non-profit, the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Association, to help strengthen trades training and employment opportunities for First Nations communities in the North. This growing partnership is a natural for both organizations. It supports Tea Creek’s vision for resilient, healthy communities and economies built on land-based programs through training local community members, and encouraging food sovereignty in those communities. And it aligns with ITA’s goal to connect employers with apprentices, training and opportunities in the trades. 

According to Stats Canada, Indigenous youth is the fastest growing demographic in the country and with a young and growing Indigenous population in BC, Indigenous youth are a resource to drive the future of the economy. The ITA helps bring trades training to youth and by doing so, they are also helping the Indigenous economy by supporting this growing Indigenous youth segment.  

Thanks to the efforts of ITA and its community engagement in 2019 over 3,000 Indigenous apprenticeships were underway in BC. In 2021 Tea Creek trained over 150 youth in Indigenous Food Sovereignty as part of their Indigenous Youth Works program. Sharing mutual goals, a benefit to First Nations community members in the north, and a far-reaching impact of economic resiliency, Tea Creek and ITA are a progressive force in this province.

ITA was featured in IBA’s ‘Spotlight Series’ launch at the 2019 Indigenous Business Award Gala, developed to honour and celebrate those organizations who play a vital role in cultivating innovation and powering BC’s growing Indigenous economy.  

Jacob Beaton was presented with the Indigenous Business Award as Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the inaugural 2009 Indigenous Business Award Gala for his innovative full-service Indigenous communications company. 

The 2022 Indigenous Business Award program launches on June 1. Nominate at

This post is sponsored by Indigenous Business Award (IBA) 2021 Category Sponsors BC Hydro, BC Transit, CN, Enbridge, NRT, Ovintiv, Seaspan, and Vancity. BC Achievement thanks these organizations for their support of the IBA program. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.