Former Esk’etemc (Alkali) Chief Fred Robbins has been named one of this year’s recipients of the BC Achievement Awards.
Premier Christy Clark and Scott McIntyre, CM, Chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, named this year’s award recipients on Friday.
“What makes British Columbia a great place to call home is the generosity, dedication and commitment of British Columbians,” said Premier Clark. “Thank you to the 2017 recipients for always going the extra mile for your communities, and your province.”
Robbins was nominated for his dedication to uniting all communities of the Cariboo Chilcotin to ensure the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and its survivors are not forgotten,
Through his vision, as a residential school survivor, he brought together First Nations, Tribal Councils, local government leaders, school districts, and former students to remember, recover and reconcile.
During his time as Chief of Esk’etemc First Nation he initiated public events, workshops and seminars, as well as the erection of monuments at the former St. Joseph’s school site and in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park.
He was also instrumental in the development of Orange Shirt Day, which continues today.
In 2013, during the St. Joseph Mission Residential School Conference, Robbins received the Keys to the Cariboo Chilcotin awarded by the Cariboo Regional District.
At the time, CRD chair Al Richmond said the CRD wanted to recognize Robbins for his efforts and said “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. “
Robbins was the third person to receive the award.
Today Robbins continues with his message and has given voice and hope to the Truth and Reconciliation process in B.C.
An independent committee selects the recipients for the awards.
The awards will be presented during a formal presentation ceremony at Government House in Victoria on April 26.
Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.
The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of BC to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service.