Harrison Hot Springs and the Sts’ailes First Nation have partnered with community events before, like the annual Sasquatch Days, which celebrates the shared history of the Sasquatch in the area. This grant will go to support a new event in the community. (The Observer file)

Harrison Hot Springs and the Sts’ailes First Nation have partnered with community events before, like the annual Sasquatch Days, which celebrates the shared history of the Sasquatch in the area. This grant will go to support a new event in the community. (The Observer file)

Harrison Hot Springs to partner with Sts’ailes for reconciliation event

The event will be funded by a grant meant to build dialogue between cities and local First Nations

Harrison Hot Springs will be applying for a grant in an attempt to support reconciliation dialogue and build its relationship with the Sts’ailes First Nation.

In council Tuesday (May 21), community services coordinator Rhonda Schell brought forward the idea of applying for the grant, which would be used to create an event in collaboration with the Sts’ailes First Nation.

Sts’ailes and Harrison have worked together on other events before; the annual Sasquatch Days in June is jointly hosted by the village and the first nation.

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The grant, which would fund up to $10,000 of the event’s costs, comes from the UBCM Urban Communities Partnering for Reconciliation program. This pilot program is designed to bring communities together for in-person dialogue through educational and awareness activities, including experiential workshops and artwork; and cultural gatherings, including talking circles, culture camps, feasts and performances.

During the council meeting, councillor Gerry Palmer asked why staff had decided to only include the Sts’ailes First Nation in the grant proposal, and not any of the other first nations located near the village.

“Is there a reason we have to narrow it to just the one, or is that simply because they are the closest first nation?” he said.

Schell said the staff had looked at Sts’ailes as a partner because an event like this would tie in nicely with the raising of the first nation’s flag in the Plaza — a project that will be funded with leftover Resort Municipality Infrastructure money from the last three years.

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“It might be a good celebratory event to tie in,” Schell noted.

Ultimately, council voted in favour of applying for the UBCM grant. If the village is successful, an event will be planned in collaboration with the Sts’ailes First Nation, although the village will be the one responsible for the project activities and overall grant management.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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