The Port Hardy RCMP handed out their third annual community leader awards to the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Port Hardy RCMP honour Vancouver Island First Nation community leaders

‘… we must highlight the beautiful work happening in our communities’

It was a great day for a ceremony honouring community leaders.

On July 15, the Port Hardy RCMP and North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney honoured Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation members at the Wakas Hall on the Tsulquate reserve adjacent to Port Hardy.

Five recipients were all gifted items honouring them for their commitments to their community.

Chris Voller, acting detachment commander for the Port Hardy RCMP, built the decorated wooden boards that were presented to the recipients, and he noted this was actually the third year the awards had been handed out. “Each year we talk around the detachment about individuals who really stood out as key stakeholders, not only with the RCMP but within their own community,” he said, before providing a brief breakdown of why each person was acknowledged.

Cassidy Walkus

“Cassidy is a community leader, on Wednesdays I attend the elders’ lunches in the community, and she’s always been very welcoming — She is an individual who not only serves her elders, but also brings youth to the elders’ lunches, which re-engages them in the culture and helps keep it alive. She is key in that.”

Darryl Coon

“Darryl was acknowlegded on several fronts, with his work with the local youth being a big focus. He’s always in the schools, giving praise and positive affirmation to the kids, and with COVID-19 he was a key stakeholder working alongside us and we really enjoyed and appreciated the efforts that he put forth.”

Willie Walkus

“Willie is a hereditary chief for the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, and he proves it every day. He’s provided me with wise counselling on many occasions.”

Cathie and Dean Wilson

“Their individual contributions with the First Nations Health Authority, and the rest of the work they do here, is so powerful and so meaningful. Their work causes us to be needed less.”

Voller added the RCMP is “just very privileged to work alongside community members like this.”

Blaney issued a statement about the event, noting that “With so many conversations across the nation focusing on the fractured relationship between the RCMP and Indigenous peoples, it was an honour to attend this event to celebrate the positive work the Port Hardy RCMP have done with the Gwa’sala-Nakwaxda’xw Nation.”

She also announced that each recipient received a certificate signed by her, Voller and Officer in Charge of Indigenous Policing Services, Dee Stewart, along with a beautiful feather and plaque.

“Together we must highlight the beautiful work happening in our communities so that others may find inspiration and know that we can mend fractured relationships by having the difficult conversations and building healthy relationships in our communities,” added Blaney. “Also, thank you to Chief [Thomas] Henderson for blanketing me for this ceremony, it was an honour.”


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AwardsRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Poetry contest started for Vancouver Island poets

“We’re such a unique group,” says founder on why she wanted to start the collective

North Island College ready for a virtual fall semester

“It’s a really good time to be a student.”

Ten hour planned power outage coming for north Island residents

To keep crews and the public safe, power must be switched off while BC Hydro completes the work.

A parent’s pandemic survival kit: Are you rewarding bad behaviour? Part 2

The phrase, “be good” is just an anxiety-provoking nebulous idea that threatens rejection.

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read