Esk’etemc Chief Fred Robbins with the monument unveiled at the former St. Joseph’s Mission residential school site. Robbins was given the Key to the Cariboo Chilcotin by the CRD because of his work on the residential school commemorative project.

Esk’etemc Chief Fred Robbins with the monument unveiled at the former St. Joseph’s Mission residential school site. Robbins was given the Key to the Cariboo Chilcotin by the CRD because of his work on the residential school commemorative project.

Chief receives the Key to the Cariboo Chilcotin

Esk’etemc Chief Fred Robbins is the third person to receive the Key to the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Esk’etemc Chief Fred Robbins is the third person to receive the Key to the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Robbins received the award from the Cariboo Regional District on May 17 in Williams Lake at Thompson Rivers University North during the St. Joseph Mission Residential School conference.

Robbins was recognized for his efforts in instigating the conference and the subsequent unveiling of two monuments honouring those lost to and survivors of residential schools.

“We wanted to recognize Fred for his efforts and hopefully it’s the beginning, not the end, of a continuing process to make people aware of the impacts and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” CRD chair Al Richmond said Tuesday.

The CRD believes Robbins is going to bring recognition to the Cariboo Chilcotin for trying to bring First Nations and non-First Nations communities together,  Richmond said.

“Fred demonstrated leadership worthy of commemorating and celebrating. He was recognized by National Chief Shawn Atleo and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.”

The award honours those who further the ideals of the CRD on a provincial and international level.

Previous recipients were Paul St. Pierre and Rick Hansen.