The BCHF has presented its inaugural Advocacy Award to Dr. Albert “Sonny” McHalsie (Naxaxalhts’i) and Dr. Keith Thor Carlson, who are synonymous with Truth and Reconciliation in the Fraser Valley.
The announcement was made at the federation’s annual gala on June 4.
Authors of multiple publications over 30 years, Sonny and Keith work in tandem with Stó:lō communities, Elders and Knowledge Keepers to uncover and share the past about the Peoples and lands of S’óhl Téméxw. Their many publications and teaching resources are valued by scholars, teachers and the public and their work has resulted in the strengthening of resettler/Indigenous relations regionally.
They provided a short acceptance video, seen below.
The BCHF also presented an honorable mention in this category to Tara-Lynn Kozma-Perrin (pictured), a fierce advocate for fulfillment of the recommendations of the TRC and UNDRIP through her continuous work to bring educational opportunities and opportunities for inclusion and connectedness into the City of Abbotsford.
Along with her mother Tery Kozma, Tara-Lynn co-founded the annual Aboriginal Arts and Culture Day, an event which brings Abbotsfordians together to celebrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture. A cross-cultural learning and engagement event, the event allows visitors to learn about the past of our Indigenous Peoples, the present and how we can work towards the future together.