After several members of the RC of Kelowna Sunrise attended the Rotary International Conference in Toronto, all were inspired to initiate a HIP Committee. Plans were proceeding to have a booth at the 2020 District Conference (now cancelled). The twenty members are getting involved by educating and creating awareness of Indigenous history, culture and issues and connecting and partnering with local communities. Relationships have been established with Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society including holding a Rotary meeting on site and possibly holding a Blanket Exercise at Westbank First Nations.
The following are some of the activities and interactions initiated with our Indigenous friends:
- Eight members took part in a Reconciliation Reading Circle which focused on the Summary Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
- Club members volunteer annually at the Turtle Island Festival (National Aboriginal Day) sponsored by the KFS. We had 15 volunteers last year.
- The club hosted guest speakers from the Indigenous community, a UBCO professor who focused on the historical presence of the Silyx Nation in the Okanagan Valley and an Aboriginal speaker employed by the Interior B.C. Health District in the area of Mental Health & Substance Abuse.
- Liaise with our District School Board regarding the new curriculum for Indigenous students.
- The club has extended invitations to the KFS and WFN to participate in our annual Ribfest Fundraiser.