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Lieutenant Governor presents British Columbia Reconciliation Award to Ktunaxa project

Members of a health care project led by the Ktunaxa Nation were presented with a British Columbia Reconciliation Award from B.C.’s Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin.

During her visit to the Kootenays, Lt.-Gov. Austin met with members of the Ktunaxa Nation and local dignitaries at Aq’am.

“We had a wonderful dinner at St. Eugene with Chief Sophie Pierre and other local chiefs and [Cranbrook] Mayor Lee Pratt. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about a number of issues in the region,” said Lt.-Gov. Austin.

On Wednesday, Austin will visit the ʔaq̓amnik̓ School and host a lunch with the award recipients.

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The award was given to the xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) research team. The project aims at fostering a better relationship between health care systems and Indigenous people.

“Dr. Christopher Horsethief is one of the lead members of that initiative. It’s really about looking at how Ktunaxa traditional language can work with western approaches to medicine and health to achieve wellbeing for the community,” said Austin. “It’s also deeply rooted in understanding the importance of traditional language and cultural revitalization.”

The project was conducted through a partnership between the Ktunaxa Nation Council, Interior Health, the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

“I think it’s shaping up to be a model that could be useful for other health jurisdictions and other communities,” said Austin.

For the award, Austin said the selection committee was looking for people and groups who were able to bridge indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge and cooperation.

“This was considered by the selection committee to be a really excellent example of working across that Indigenous/non-Indigenous barrier. And it’s one that could be an example for other organizations and other regions,” explained Austin.

More: Ktunaxa Nation Council receiving B.C. Reconciliation Award (May 25, 2021)

More: $950,000 grant awarded to Ktunaxa Nation Council Research Project (Apr 27, 2021)

Lt.-Gov. Austin will be in Creston for a portion of the wuqanq̓ankimik Walk in support of reconciliation and in recognition of National Indigenous History Month.

On Thursday, Austin will be in Nelson for a roundtable discussion with local women and family-services support providers.

She will then head to Castlegar for a tour of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre.

“I’m very much looking forward to the next few days and the chance to chat with many local people about some of the issues you’re dealing with and the future-oriented vision for the region,” said Austin.

More: Lieutenant Governor visiting Kootenays this week (May 30, 2022)

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