ON Saturday, August 24, the Khalsa Diwan Society hosted about 50 members, including youth and elders, of the Tsilhqotin First Nation. This was the second year in a row that this event was held.
In 2016, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada encouraged faith-based organizations to engage in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
The program is a part of the reconciliation efforts of the Khalsa Diwan Society New Westminster.
This gathering assumes special significance because it was here in New Westminster that Chief Ahan of the Tsilhqotin First Nation was hung for protecting his people and their land. As residents of New Westminster, we feel that it is important to reach out to the Tsilhqotin people and begin a new chapter in our relationship with them, said the gurdwara authorities.
The program at the gurdwara included a brief talk on Sikh values and the singing of a warrior song by the Tsilhqotin elders and youth. After this exchange, the guests were served langar (communal meal) at the gurdwara.
The elders of the Tsilhqotin First Nation were presented with a kirpan as a symbol of our shared values of creating a fair, just and equitable society for all, the gurdwara authorities noted.