What is the Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society?
The Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society is an organization created by Cove Continuity Advisors’ founders, Bernie and Christie Geiss. The Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society funds and participates in reconciliAction projects in First Nation communities around BC in collaboration with businesses, high school students, Indigenous communities, and First Nation governments. Through these reconciliation action projects, we learn about the rich heritage and traditions of Indigenous cultures and the truth about the historic treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada, systemic racism, and how we can effect a positive change through community development for the benefit of current and future generations.
The purpose of the Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society is to support collaboration between businesses, First Nation communities, and leaders and students within the education system to improve shared social and environmental outcomes for the benefit of current and future generations. We wish to demonstrate how individuals and communities working together can achieve great things in an incremental and consistent manner. There is much that can be done locally that benefits all community members, inspiring more continuous and consistent intercommunity involvement, collaboration, and development.
Why the Name Kileepi Piseesi?
We worked with Victor Guerin, Lead Language Resource Officer with Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, to find a name that would be broadly accepted and represent our intentions for the society. We adopted Kileepi Piseesi on Victor’s recommendation because we felt it captured the spirit of what we wanted to do with the society. In the Chinook language, kileepi piseesi means return blankets, a West Coast First Nation practice used to reconcile issues—to repair, heal, and build relationships, which is what we are set out to do with our Kileepi Piseesi-led projects.
Every September, we hold a fundraiser called ReconciliAction with Kileepi Piseesi in support of the Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society. The goal is to create dialogue around Truth and Reconciliation, honour our Indigenous peoples, and advance systemic change for a more fair and just Canada. Learn more about the 2022 ReconciliAction with Kileepi Piseesi fundraiser.
Homalco First Nation, 2017
On March 2017, Cove Continuity Advisors partnered with the Seycove Secondary School’s Social Justice class, taught by Andrea Yeo to participate in a field trip to the Homalco First Nation community for a weekend of improvement projects. The trip was planned and coordinated by Laara Yaghujaanas of Carden Consulting, who is also a Director of Kileepi Piseesi Reconciliation Society.
The community development project was based upon community identified needs and involved planting fruit trees in the Homalco community garden, planting flowers in front of the community hall, power washing the front of the community hall, and picking up a full trailer load of garbage that had been dumped by non-community members in the bushes at the entrance to the Homalco reserve. The field trip was a success from a number of perspectives, and out of that trip was born the inspiration to formalize the process to increase the number of participants from all three communities.
Laq’á:mel First Nation, 2018
On May 2018, Cove Continuity Advisors, along with Seycove Secondary School’s Social Justice class, spent a day at Laq’á:mel First Nation, 22 kilometres east of Mission. The day was spent exploring the traditions and lands of the Laq’á:mel First Nation, learning about their culture and history, and contributing to the community through onsite work projects.
Pacheedaht First Nation, TBA
Cove Continuity Advisors will be helping with community improvement projects for Pacheedaht First Nation. Project date is TBA.
Tsleil Waututh Nation, ongoing
Cove Continuity Advisors and Seycove Secondary School’s Social Justice class have volunteered their time and energy to do several beach clean ups on our local Tsleil Waututh lands by invitation of community leaders. Overall, we assisted in the removal of over 1,000 lbs of garbage that drifted ashore during two clean-up events.