Tyler McCreary is the 2019 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing.
McCreary, who was short-listed for the honour last month for his book Shared Histories: Witsuwit’en-Settler Relations in Smithers, British Columbia, 1913-1973, received the award at the B.C. Historical Federation gala June 8 in Courtenay.
He told The Interior News Sunday morning by telephone from Vancouver Island that it felt great to be recognized, but more importantly, felt like it provides an opportunity to promote reconciliation.
“I hope this will help bring a broader audience to the book and for more people to be able to read and hear the stories of the Wet’suwet’en families in Smithers, the experiences they faced, the endurance and persistence of those families trying to make a space for themselves in town and begin to relate those experiences to other experiences of Indigenous folks in communities across British Columbia and, indeed, across Canada.
“I hope that there’s a way that those stories told in a local and personal context can help people in a variety of communities be able to understand the relationships between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians.”
McCreary grew up in Smithers and is now a researcher and assistant professor at Florida State University.
The medal comes with a $2,500 cash prize.
Taylor Bachrach, the mayor of Smithers, who was also involved in the Shared Histories project, was thrilled that McCreary won the award.
“The recognition is well-deserved,” Bachrach said.