A pair of Tsawwassen First Nation Members are the first-ever co-winners of the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen’s Community Peace Builder Award.
The award is presented annually to commemorate United Nations’ International Peace Day on Sept. 21. Nominations are brought forward by rotary members and the Interact Club at South Delta Secondary School. It is given to an individual, group or organization living, working or serving within the Tsawwassen community who is creating a culture for peace while combating racism, violence, discrimination, bullying corruption or any other issue.
Tanya Corbet is recognized for her work as a key liaison between TFN and the City of Delta.
As an elective executive councillor at TFN and a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism, she has worked passionately to build bridges and create understanding among the residents of both communities. Corbet has also enhanced the two business communities as a board member with the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
Her grandparents are residential school survivors and she is proud her daughter is studying education at UBC and will share her knowledge and experience as a TFN member as a teacher one day.
“This year has really been profound to know we are moving together forward on how we can learn and more importantly listen,” said Corbet. “We all have stories, we all have backgrounds and we have experiences and the best thing we can do is sharing and listening to these stories moving together.”
Also honoured on Tuesday was Nathan Wilson for his work as Indigenous Cultural Enhancement Facilitator with the Delta School District.
In his position, Wilson is enabling a better understanding and appreciation of Indigenous history and cultural. His caring support of Indigenous students and staff have brought peace in difficult times and provided a bridge to both healing and learning.
The popular member of the local lacrosse community asked his wife and son to join him for the award presentation.
“I am of Musqueam descent and a proud member of TFN. I’m truly honoured to get this acknowledgement and I accept this award on behalf of all parts of my family,” said Wilson. “Mostly the love and support I get from these two and the love and support I get from my work family. I love that I get this opportunity to share the Indigenous culture.”
The award ceremony was preceded by the Rotary recognizing International Peace Day, with speeches from Delta South MLA Ian Paton and Delta Mayor George Harvie, while also paying tribute to Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept. 30.
Delta School District’s Indigenous Education Department staff members presented some of the learning platforms they will be sharing with students next week while TFN elder Ruth Adams delivered an emotional message.
“My dad went to residential school and we paid dearly for that. It is so good that the truth has come out because a lot of people never even believed it,” she said. “Thirty years of walking around and making friends in Delta was one thing I had to do to make myself feel better about where I come from and my land. I did that because I thought not everybody could be hating us.”