Vancouver, B.C. – The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2024 Call for Nominations for the BC Reconciliation Award. This award recognizes individuals, groups and organizations who demonstrate exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia or inspire others to continue reconciliation efforts.
Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, has made reconciliation one of the key themes of her mandate. This includes participation in promotion of public awareness of the ongoing journey of reconciliation.
“Every year we launch nominations the BC Reconciliation Award. I grow more and more grateful for the opportunity to witness the exceptional ways in which individuals and organizations in British Columbia advance reconciliation,” Austin said. “It takes creativity, intelligence, but most importantly it takes courage—courage to acknowledge the injustices of the past and present and courage to mend those wounds. I look forward to seeing this courage reflected in the 2024 nominations.”
The BC Achievement Foundation has several established programs honouring excellence and inspiring achievement throughout British Columbia, including the Indigenous Business Award and the First Nations Art Award.
“Reconciliation serves as the foundation for forging meaningful connections and closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Through acknowledging historical injustices and highlighting transformative initiatives, we inspire others to follow a similar path,” said Cloy-e-iis, Judith Sayers, board member of the BC Achievement Foundation. “As we step into the fourth year of the BC Reconciliation Award, we call for submission of nominations for the award program to help share the efforts of individuals and communities.”
The BC Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward.
In honour of this legacy, each years’ recipients receive a print of a canoe paddle designed by the Emerging Artist recipient of the Polygon Award in First Nations Art. The 2021 paddle was created by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Cole Speck, the 2022 paddle was created by Dene and Carrier beader Crystal Behn and the 2023 paddle was designed by Kwakwaka’wakw artist and moccasin maker Jamie Gentry. The ongoing series of BC Reconciliation Award paddles will be displayed in Government House.
The selection committee for the BC Reconciliation Award includes representation from Indigenous Elders and leadership. A ceremony recognizing the 2023 recipients will take place at Government House in Victoria in the new year.
“Nominating individuals and organizations for the BC Reconciliation Award is a powerful testament to collective pledges to healing, unity, and understanding. My hope is that this recognition continues to inspire positive change and strengthens the bonds of reconciliation in our province. As a juror and past recipient of the BC Reconciliation Award, I am humbled and honoured to witness and be a part of the transformative power of reconciliation efforts in British Columbia and encourage you to nominate those who are making a difference, change is transformative and we all must do our part,” said Chief/Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, former recipient and 2023 selection committee member.
The nomination period for the BC Reconciliation Award will be open from November 15, 2023, until January 31, 2024. Online nominations are open on the BC Achievement Foundation website at www.bcachievement.com.
Gemma Bishop, Gather PR
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Gather Public Relations (on behalf of the BC Achievement Foundation)