It has come to that time of year when The Interior News traditionally puts out a progress edition.
This annual feature celebrates where we have come as a community over the last 12 months.
While the past two years have been a challenging time to think in terms of progress with all of the drawbacks of living through a pandemic, we have still managed to move forward.
Just within the past few weeks, we’ve seen the opening of a brand new state of the art elementary school in Smithers. Important infrastructure such as schools not only contribute to the quality of life of existing residents, but are an attraction to those who have yet to move here.
Down the highway in Telkwa, they officially opened the Trobak Reservoir. While this official opening was a long time in coming, the project was completed during COVID-19 and nevertheless represents a major milestone in the village’s capacity for growth.
It’s not just concrete things like infrastructure, though, that mark progress.
In societal terms, it feels like there may be a shift afoot. The discovery of unmarked children’s graves at various former residential schools, while horrific, may also portend some real steps toward the elusive reconciliation (as loaded a term as that has become) with First Nations.
While it seems like we have been paying lip service to Indigenous issues for generations, the mood seemed different during recent marches and gatherings that took place in Smithers, across Northwest B.C. and across the country for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
It felt like Canadians are starting to actually get what Indigenous people have been trying to tell us for years.
While we are not naive enough to think there’s not a long road ahead, major milestones are achieved through countless tiny steps.
When faced with adversity, all we can do is continue to take whatever steps we can to move us forward.