Alberni Valley News editor Susie Quinn accepts the corporate 2018 Heritage Award on behalf of the media organization in recognition of outstanding contribution and support in the commercial sector in raising awareness of community history and heritage. DAVID HOOPER PHOTO

EDITORIAL: Alberni Valley News is dedicated to sharing region’s heritage stories

It is important to acknowledge our history, no matter how uncomfortable it may be

The Alberni Valley News is honoured to be a 2018 Community Heritage Award recipient for outstanding contribution and support in the commercial sector in raising awareness of community history and heritage.

We received the surprise award at the annual heritage award ceremony on Dec. 5, and feel humbled to be among the other recipients lauded for their dedication and volunteerism in keeping the Alberni Valley’s heritage and culture in the forefront.

It is important to acknowledge our history, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, so that we may understand where we have been, and how we may improve the path we take today. We take our role in sharing that history seriously.

Think about We Are All One, an exhibition of residential school art repatriated from the Alberni Indian Residential School, and displayed at the Alberni Valley Museum in 2014. The award-winning exhibit found a way to show the pain and effect of residential schools in a different medium. We were honoured to be able to share stories on the repatriation ceremony, the artists, and the effects that receiving their artwork had on them and the community at large.

Those uncomfortable stories also hold people accountable, such as earlier this year when a seemingly unimportant shack was demolished at McLean Mill before anyone checked whether it was part of the National Historic Site (it was: an old first aid station originally on a sled so it could move around the site).

During the city’s centennial year in 2012, we endeavoured to write at least one story about the city a century earlier, so people could learn about the town’s beginnings.

History can also be fun, like the story about the time capsule forgotten on the shelves at the museum until curator Kirsten Smith discovered it. We were caught up in the mystery and excited to have played a small part in helping to find the rightful owner—then present when the capsule was opened.

History and heritage can also be found in the most unexpected places, such as underwater. Stay tuned to the Alberni Valley News later this month to hear about two underwater historical marvels.

We would not be able to share such stories without the Alberni Valley’s history-keepers and of course our readers. We appreciate those who openly share their stories with us whenever we phone and ask if they would consider answering a few questions, or allowing us to take a photo.

We hope our readers will continue to share their stories with us.

— Alberni Valley News

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