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Chilliwack elder honoured with YWCA Women of Distinction Award

Emily Henry (Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw) recognized in ‘Reconciliation in Action’ category
Cree elder Emily Henry (Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw) was honoured with a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Reconciliation in Action category. (YWCA)

A Chilliwack woman has been named the recipient of a YWCA award for women.

Cree elder Emily Henry (Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw) was honoured with a Women of Distinction Award in the ‘Reconciliation in Action’ category. The recipients were announced at a gala at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver on May 13.

Henry brings cultural safety and trauma-informed best practice sessions to people through the First Nations Health Authority, according to her biography. She serves elders through programs including cultural safety and humility, mental health and substance use, harm reduction and nursing services, and she co-developed a guide to palliative care for healthcare providers providing support to Indigenous peoples.

A former instructor at Vancouver Community College, Henry developed a curriculum addressing Indigenous history and residential school impacts, reaching hundreds of students, and informing how substance counsellors interact with Indigenous clients.

Now implemented nationwide, she created interventions for Indigenous male offenders combining behavioural therapy with a foundation of Indigenous culture to address the generational impact caused by colonization.

She also offers traditional services through ceremonies to connect Indigenous peoples to their culture.

Nominations for the awards were announced back in March where Henry was one of two Chilliwack women recognized. Christine Mallier of Chilliwack-based pet food company Petcurean was nominated in the category of environmental sustainability.

READ MORE: ‘Outstanding’ work: 2 Chilliwack women nominated for YWCA awards

The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honour individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of communities. This year marked the 41st annual awards. Since 1984, YWCA Metro Vancouver has paid tribute to more than 364 award recipients and 2,190 nominees.

Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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