Keith Carlson and Sonny McHalsie are winners of a 2022 Advocacy award by the BCHF. (BCHF video screenshot)

Keith Carlson and Sonny McHalsie are winners of a 2022 Advocacy award by the BCHF. (BCHF video screenshot)

Researchers known for delving deep into Stó:lō history honoured with advocacy award

Sonny McHalsie, Keith Carlson ‘synonymous with Truth and Reconciliation’ in the Fraser Valley

Two researchers known for delving deep into Stó:lō history have been honoured for their work.

Sonny (Naxaxalhts’i) McHalsie and Keith Carlson accepted the 2022 Advocacy Award from the BC Historical Federation for being “synonymous with Truth and Reconciliation” in the Fraser Valley.

It was the inaugural presentation of the advocacy award, made at the federation’s annual gala on June 4.

“Authors of multiple publications over 30 years, Sonny and Keith work in tandem with Stó:lō communities, Elders and Knowledge Keepers to uncover and share the past about the Peoples and lands of S’óhl Téméxw,” according to the BCHF release. “Their many publications and teaching resources are valued by scholars, teachers and the public and their work has resulted in the strengthening of resettler/Indigenous relations regionally.”

McHalsie, a historical researcher, and cultural interpreter, and Carlson, an ethnohistorian, and professor, provided an acceptance video for the BCHF gala awards evening. Carlson was the keynote speaker at the online event, positing history as “a tool for reconciliation.”

The BCHF fosters interest in B.C. history through research, presentation, and support in its role as an umbrella organization for provincial historical societies. Established in 1922, the federation provides a collective voice for more than 100 member societies and 24,000 individuals in the provincial not-for-profit historical sector.

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