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PHOTOS: Prince George Native Friendship Centre wins award for its Indigenous childcare centre

Skeh Baiyoh Childcare Centre wins Jeanne Clarke Local History Award for Service

A childcare program that teaches young children about Carrier language and culture has garnered the Prince George Native Friendship Centre (PGNFC) an award for its service.  

The Prince George Public Library Board hosted the 36th annual Jeanne Clarke Awards virtually on Sunday evening (Feb. 21), which recognizes contributions to the preservation and promotion of local and regional history.

The PGNFC was honoured with the Jeanne Clarke Local History Award for Service for its Skeh Baiyoh Childcare Centre, incorporating Indigenous teaching practices into early childhood education.

Skeh Baiyoh weaves together Aboriginal Head Start philosophy and early childhood education best practices with critical aspects of Carrier culture.

Children learn about the Lheidli T'enneh by gaining exposure to language, social gatherings, traditions, and the wisdom of Elders.

The centre also partners with outside organizations to expand awareness of Lheidli T’enneh history and culture, which continues to thrive even after centuries of colonization. 

The Library Board was also awarded two regional awards for publication this year.  

 Geoff Mynett accepted a Publication Award for Service on the Skeena: Horace Wrinch, Frontier Physician.

Service on the Skeena is the previously untold biography of medical doctor, administrator, missionary, farmer and progressive politician Horace Wrinch.

The book tells the story of Wrinch, who departed England alone at age 14, arrived in Hazelton 20 years later and built the first hospital in the northern interior.

Having drawn extensively on research from archives, newspapers, family documents and photographs, Mynett’s work expresses the reader’s admiration and interest from cover to cover. 

Briony Penn accepted a Publication Award for Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid by Cecil Paul as told to Briony Penn.

The book Stories from the Magic Canoe reflects on the restoration of land and culture. Told in Wa’xaid’s (also known as Cecil Paul) singular, vernacular voice, the book spans a lifetime of experience, suffering and survival.

A Xenaksiala Elder, Wa’xaid passed away in December 2020, shortly after his 90th birthday.

The prominent Indigenous leader was known for his tireless work to protect the Kitlope, described as the largest intact temperate rainforest watershed in the world.

The Jeanne Clarke Local History Award was established by the Library Board in 1985, in memory of former library board chair Jeanne Clarke.

Jeanne Clarke was a founding member of the Prince George Public Library's Local History Committee, and played a key role in establishing the library’s local history collection. 

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