Brentwood Bay, B.C. – We are proud to announce that FPCC’s Chief Executive Officer Tracey Herbert has been appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest form of recognition. Tracey received this honour at Government House in Victoria on September 20, 2018.
Tracey Herbert is the CEO of First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), a First Nations-run provincial Crown Corporation that supports the revitalization of Indigenous languages, arts, culture and heritage in B.C. She is a member of the St’uxwtews First Nation (Bonaparte Band). Tracey is honoured, as an Indigenous woman, to receive this award and recognition at a time when the profile of Indigenous languages and the importance of revitalization is increasing.
“My passion for language and culture comes from being raised by my grandparents, who instilled the Indigenous values of deeply respecting knowledge keepers, and giving back to your community,” said Tracey. “I have been privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to our Indigenous communities and hold Indigenous people up throughout my career.”
Prior to joining FPCC in 2003, Tracey served as elected councilor for the Bonaparte Band, and worked in community development at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.
Tracey has been a tireless advocate of Indigenous language revitalization at the provincial and national level. For the past 15 years, she has led FPCC in providing funding and resources to First Nations communities, monitoring the status of Indigenous languages and developing policy recommendations for First Nations and government.
Tracey’s leadership in language preservation, program development, and technology tools has shaped policy and influenced government, contributing to the development of federal language legislation in Canada, which is expected to be introduced in 2019.
Under Tracey’s leadership FPCC has achieved the following successes:
- Development of innovative programs to support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages and arts in B.C.
- Advocacy for Indigenous languages, resulting in a $50-million investment by the provincial government for Indigenous language revitalization in 2018.
- Development of the award winning Our Living Languages exhibition at the Royal BC Museum in 2014 showcasing the work of B.C.’s Indigenous language champions and presenting the critical level of endangerment of B.C. First Nations Languages on an accessible, public platform.
Tracey is technician for B.C. on the national Chief’s Committee on Languages and Chair of the National Assembly of First Nations Costing Committee for the development of the national legislation on Indigenous languages.
Wanosts̓a7 Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor Emerita of Indigenous Education, University of Victoria –
“I was honoured to nominate Tracey for the Order of B.C. Her leadership in the field of arts, language and cultural revitalization has changed the approaches to language preservation and revitalization. Though her work to promote the value and beauty of B.C. languages, she has contributed to a significant shift to a better understanding by First Nations peoples and all British Columbians about why we need our languages for reconciliation, nation building and to strengthen us as individuals.
Tracey’s greatest legacy is that the Indigenous people’s voice is finally heard in telling their stories in song, art, music, exhibitions, performance and giving voice to how history is told and languages recovered, revitalized and maintained as they want it to be. The walls have been breached thanks to her persistence and respectful collaborations.”
National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde –
“On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, I congratulate Tracey Hebert on her prestigious and highly deserved appointment to the Order of British Columbia. This is a clear and strong recognition of her life’s work for First Nations peoples in BC and across the country. Tracey has dedicated decades of service working on a range of issues in a variety of fields. In particular, her efforts to strengthen and revitalize First Nations languages will make 2019, the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages, a truly landmark year worthy of celebration. Tracey’s passion for our people, our cultures and our youth are inspiring, and we commend her on this appointment to the Order of British Columbia.”
Grand Chief Edward John, First Nations Summit Political Executive –
“An unfortunate part of our collective history includes not only the historical banning of Indigenous cultural practices, but also the use of Indigenous languages. This had tremendous negative impacts on Indigenous peoples and communities in BC. Tracey Herbert’s work provides but one example of our collective efforts to overcome the detrimental effects of this dark time in the history of BC. She is a very worthy recipient of this honour as she has been instrumental in not only promoting the preservation of Indigenous culture and arts, but also promoting the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages in BC. We applaud her for these significant efforts and are pleased that she is being recognized for her significant body of work by being bestowed with the Order of BC”.
Hon. Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“I hold my hands up to Tracey Herbert for her exceptional contribution to Indigenous language revitalization in British Columbia. Her recognition by the Order of B.C. is well deserved and her commitment and hard work on behalf of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council has not gone unnoticed. As a government we are proud to support work in such a critical area.”