Boo Maga June 2021

WLFN2021

Boo Maga

Puméke7

June 2021

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER - #2

Sugar Cane Cemetery at Sunset


Contents

Health Station Renaming

4

6

8

10

12

Pictures from the Drive-

Thru Carnival and the

official new name!

Featured Staff Member

Ira Nelson talks about his

work with O&M and why

he’d like to be Batman.

Multi-use Connector Trail

The first of many trails is

set to be completed this

month.

Bridge Naming Ceremony

A ceremony was held

to announce the new

bridge name.

Featured Member

Check in with Greg

Thomas and his work

with Titan Construction

Council Meeting Highlights

14

Take a look at what

your Council have been

discussing over the past

month!

Welcome to

the Boo Maga

(puméke7), which

translates to

“drum stick”.

Got an idea or story for

future editions?

Contact us:

shannon.skeels@wlfn.ca

250-296-3507 ext.185

General Inquiries:

lisa.camille@wlfn.ca

250-296-3507 ext.103

Facebook:

Williams Lake First

Nation

www.wlfn.ca

Councillor’s

Message

Weyt-kp xwexweyep, Shae

Chelsea ren skwekwst. I am the

daughter of Denise Tait and

Vernon Michel and William Sellars

Sr. and Elizabeth Paul. I am also

the granddaughter of Douglas

and Gladys Tait, Bill and Martha

Sellars and Frank and Elsie Michel.

I am constantly striving to help

create a world where my three

children can grow up in a healthy

community with their culture

and traditions. I grew up in the

community and lived here my

entire life, until buying a house

in Williams Lake in 2016. I have

recently just moved a bit closer

to the community, into Lexington

with my family.

I was elected into this Councillor

position in the fall of 2020. I was

truly humbled and honored to be

voted in by my community. I have

attended many different events,

whether it be online or in person,

since I was elected. I really hope

once the restrictions lift I can

see everyone in person and get

back to some type of normalcy.

I truly miss seeing everyone at

the gatherings and sharing meals

with you all. I would also like to

stretch out my heart to everyone,

thank you for

your patience

with

and

Chief

Council

throughout

the pandemic

and flooding.

I also finished

“I truly miss

seeing

everyone at the

gatherings and

sharing meals

with you all.”

my Bachelor of Social Work degree

in December 2020, and started

a position as a General Social

Worker with Knucwentwecw

Society. I am also currently

working through my delegation

training with Knucwentwecw Society

to become a C6 Delegated Social

Worker. I am constantly

learning new things every

day, as a Councillor, a

Social Worker, a Mother

and a Matriarch in training.

I look forward to seeing

what the future holds

for us. We are living in

exciting times in our community,

with

The Specific Land Claims, the

new Administration building, new

houses, and all the potential for our

community members to thrive. I

would like to thank our members for

supporting all the tough decisions we

are making, the staff for constantly

supporting our visions and my fellow

leadership and CAO for continuing to

have patience and teaching me as we

go forward.

Kukwstsetsemc te Sknuncwentsemc!!

(Thank you for helping me)

Shae Chelsea

Councillor Shae Chelsea

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BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021

3


Health Station

Renaming Celebration

Vaccine

Updater

Wellness

Corner

On May 25th, WLFN hosted a drivethru

carnival in order to celebrate

the renaming of the Health Station.

During the event, the new name

and logo was announced to the

community.

A name contest was called to

celebrate the Health Station’s

transition and give it a traditional

name to go along with its current.

The name chosen is Cwelcwelt: A

place to get well.

The drive-thru carnival was a

covid-friendly way to celebrate

this occasion. Six stations were

set up around Sugar Cane, and at

each, Community Members were

Lucas Kiefiuk handing out popcorn at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium

able to enjoy classic fairground

treats, such as cotton candy,

hot dogs and, of course, a dunk

tank. Our very own Chief Willie,

Cst Adam Hildebrandt and CAO

Aaron Mannella were kind enough

to volunteer themselves to be

plunged into icy water!

The event was a huge success, and

with the Health Station officially

renamed, it marks yet another

milestone in WLFN’s transition

into self-governance.

Cst. Adam Hildebrandt takes a dunk in some icy water

On May 11th WLFN began

vaccination clinics, held at the

Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium, with

the purpose of providing second

doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to

community members living on

and off reserve in the immediate

Williams Lake area.

In the first vaccine clinic, 192 community members and

staff received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

From February-March, small clinics were held at the

Three Corners Health Services main office and saw an

additional 35 community members and staff received

vaccinations for a total of 227 first doses administered.

During the May 11th-13th vaccine clinic, a total of 187

people received their second dose, with another 17

receiving their first. This now means 82% of members

and staff which received their first dose at the clinics

between February and March, are now fully vaccinated.

Brittany Cleminson recieving her second vaccine

With summer quickly approaching, seasonal

allergies may be starting to affect some of

you - but did you know that something as

simple as fruit can be an easy home remedy

to ease your symptoms?

Apples contain quercetin which has antiinflammatory

and anti-allergic properties.

This means that apples can help reduce the

production of substances like histamine.

Pineapples are full of Vitamin C. Also, it is a good

source of bromelain which is an enzyme that

has anti-inflammatory effect

Tangerines contain phytochemicals which are

able to curb allergic reactions. Phytochemicals

can also help boost your immune system.

For a quick and easy boost, try this juice recipe:

• 3 tangerines

• 2 pineapple slices

• 1 apple

Peel all fruit and place in a juice extractor or

grinder.

This recipe should make two, 250ml servings.

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Staff

Member

Highlight:

Ira Nelson

New Government Building

nears completion

Construction work began on the new Administrative Building back in April 2020, and

progress has been steady since then. The interior is almost at completion and soon the

paving and landscaping will be underway. Lauren Brothers Construction have done an

incredible job and it will be exciting to see any further progression. WLFN is currently looking

at a move in date of August 2021.

Ira works as the Operations and Maintenance

Assistant at WLFN, alongside volunteering as a

Fire Fighter at the Sugar Cane Fire Hall.

Q: What does a regular workday look like?

A: My workday can be all over the place as we are

always busy here at O&M. Monday, Wednesday,

and Friday mornings we have our routine safety

meetings. Mornings are also my time to review

service requests and plan what I will get done

through out the day.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: My favourite part is completing service

requests because I like being helpful to WLFN

employee’s and community members and

makes me feel less stressed when I can complete

them. I like when we can joke around together

and still have fun as a team.

Q: Do you have any stories from your time

working here?

A: When I first started at O&M, the manager at

the time was showing me how to change a hot

water tank. He made it clear to find the main

shut off before starting the removal process. He

ended up forgetting to look for the main shut off

before cutting the pipes and that’s when water

started spraying everywhere. I teased him about

him giving me instructions in the beginning “What

did you say to me about that main shut off again?”

Q: If you didn’t work here, what career do you

think you’d be in?

A: If I didn’t work at WLFN I would apply at a

mechanic shop, because I like learning to fix

things.

Q: If you could be any fictional character, who

would it be?

A: I would choose to be Batman because he’s

human. Even though he doesn’t have any super

powers he can still make a difference in life.

Q: Do you have a message for the community?

A: I have learned that life isn’t easy and it gets

harder as you get older, but I now have the tools

to get through and my family and friends remind

me to use them when I’m having a hard time -

and I also remind them too. Depression is a part

of life, but it is not life. Getting hurt is a feeling

but it is not life. The hardest thing to hold on to is

love. It always helps to look for happiness in every

day and be grateful.

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Multi-use connector

trail to open in June

The construction of the

1,750-metre multi-use connector

trail is due to be completed by

June 15th. A ground breaking

ceremony was held on April

19th to mark the start of the trail

construction. Chief Willie Sellars

said, “if COVID has taught us

anything, it’s that we need to get

people out in the land. Physical

activity is an important tool that

we can use to improve mental

health, whether that be walking,

running, biking, or just getting out

and identifying the medicines that

are on the land and experiencing

the beauty of our territory.”

The trail has been designed as an

easy walking path with minimal

incline to make it accessible for the

entire community and includes a

viewing deck. It is also suitable for

all types of bicycle and will include

dirt features to make it fun for

advanced mountain bikers too. It

will also serve as a “catch trail” for

future proposed mountain bike

trails.

James Doerfling, a world-class,

professional mountain biker,

now turned trail builder has

spearheaded the construction

of the trail, whilst Tom Schoen

has been managing the project.

The construction of the

trail was preceded by a

community survey in which

an overwhelming number of

participants indicated that new

trails wouldbe beneficial. There

was little to no disagreement

with the statements that

trails are useful for travelling

within and outside of the

community, that they enhance

the quality of life, that they

have health, economic and

recreational benefits, and that

they help establish a presence on

traditional territory.

The trailhead begins at the Chief

Will-Yum Campsite, with the hope

being that many other trails can

be added in the future, starting at

this location.

The next trail set to be

constructed will lead to Asahal

Lake and follow the original path

which was destroyed in the 2017

wildfires. It will be 3,433 meters in

length and an intermediate, more

challenging trail.

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Naming

spaces that are so important

event will make a meaningful

to residents and visitors alike.

and lasting contribution toward

Ceremony for

We were pleased to have an

opportunity to work with Williams

Lake First Nation to choose the

the development of a stronger

relationship between WLFN and

the City of Williams Lake.

name “Nekw7usem Bridge” –

However, I believe that designing

Nekw7usem

which means “Unity”, and look

forward to continuing to improve

legacies for future generations

must include the full story and

access to our natural landscape.”

history of the people who occupied

Bridge

Chief Willie Sellars said, “in

February 2018, the Supreme

these lands prior to European

settlement. Unfortunately, the

Court of Canada ruled in favour

legacies of the past have been

On May 17, 2021, the City of

Williams Lake and Williams Lake

First Nation conducted a naming

ceremony for the Nekw7usem

Bridge that connects the RC

Cotton trail to Scout Island.

In typical Cariboo fashion, the heavens opened

just before the ceremony began, and continued

throughout the entire event. It was certainly quite the

welcome from Mother Earth. The naming ceremony

and sign unveiling included elected officials, elders,

and community representatives from both the City

and Williams Lake First Nation.

The ceremony began with singing, drumming and

prayer from WLFN’s Cultural Coordinator, David

Archie and Elder Virginia Gilbert, before comments

from Chief Willie Sellars and Mayor Walter Cobb.

The 200 ft pedestrian bridge was completed in

2020, with the support of grants obtained from the

Rural Dividend Program and the Canada Recreation

Program. With 83% of the project funding provided

through government grants, the remainder was

funded by the City of Williams Lake.

Mayor Walt Cobb said, “the bridge is a landmark

project for the City and opens up more of the outdoor

The Nekw7usem Bridge - pictured in sunnier weather!

Chief Willie Sellars and Mayor Walter Cobb unveiling the plaque.

of the Williams Lake First Nation

by confirming our Secwepemc

ancestors were displaced by

European settlers. Our ancestors

considered Scout Island a sacred

site, a place of refuge, a resource

for sustenance, and the location

where spiritual healing occurred.

We are grateful to the City of

Williams Lake for acknowledging

the necessity for modern-day

reconciliation by declaring this

bridge a symbol of “one tribe, one

family.” Unity, more than ever,

is required for Indigenous and

non-Indigenous people to move

forward on our respective healing

journeys.”

Councillor Chris Wycotte also

added, “I would like to thank

the City of Williams Lake for

taking the time to recognize and

commemorate a small piece

of Williams Lake First Nation’s

traditional territory. I believe this

very devastating. Naming the

bridge in our language can turn

the page on that legacy and could

be the first step toward telling the

true story of WLFN.

Our lands are not mere spaces,

but a sacred gift and trust passed

down to us by our creator. Our

teachings taught us to have a

deep respect for our land and

environment.

To us, these lands are sacred

because they hold our ancestors,

our laws, our cultural identity,

our traditions, our language,

our teachings, and histories.

It is important for everyone to

know that while WLFN no longer

occupies these lands we still have

a very strong connection to it.”

The City and the Williams Lake

First Nation would also like to

thank the Williams Lake Field

Naturalists and grant providers

for their support throughout.

10 BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021 Chief Willie Sellars and Councillor Rick Gilbert.

BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021 11


Featured

Member:

Staff Birthdays

and Anniversaries

Greg Thomas

Greg Thomas is a

WLFN Member, a

father of five and is

currently working

full time for Titan

Construction.

(WLFN’s

Employment

Coordinator)”, says Greg. “I

needed to make a change in my

look at the waterways, the trees,

plants and animals.”

“We didn’t lose our culture, we

Ada Phillips

1st Anniversary

Janet Smith

1st Anniversary

Joey Alphonse

1st Anniversary

“My spouse passed away in

life and get back to work, and

just wandered away from it. All we

2014, right before I was due to

Shawna helped me find this

have to do is get back out there.”

finish my degree in Business

opportunity – and has helped

Greg’s message for the community

Administration” says Greg. “I

with other small jobs in the past.”

would be to look for a balance in

immediately had to withdraw and

Despite living in various

your life, within your heart, mind,

became a full-time father to my

children.”

communities, Greg says he chose

to become a member with WLFN

body, and soul.

“If you take care of each of those,

Jennifer Pantanetti

1st Anniversary

Anna Gilbert

3rd Anniversary

Whitney Spearing

5th Anniversary

Caitlin Sellars

1st Anniversary

“A lot of people tried to put me

again because of the amount of

it will help you out in life,” he says,

down for that and would question

family he has in the area and that

“by taking care of yourself first,

why I wasn’t out working – but I

he enjoys how industrious the

you will then be strong enough

told them I needed to look out for

band are.

to take care of the others around

my children.”

“WLFN does an excellent job of

you.”

“For years I worried about how

tying in our culture with how

“With the current climate, with

they were doing, but they’re really

flourishing at the moment and so

today’s world is run and creates a

balance in-between, both for on

COVID and drugs, people can

disappear just like that, so you

Eric Mckay

3rd Anniversary

Shayla Alphonse

3rd Anniversary

Lori Billyboy

13th Anniversary

Kirk Dressler

12th Anniversary

finally this year I decided to get

and off reserve members.”

have to cherish everything.”

back to work again.”

“Our culture is so important and

“Our people have been oppressed

Titan Construction is currently

yet a lot of people think we have

for so long and that can be

building new housing on reserve

lost our culture, but that’s not

overwhelming – but if we learn

and the timing lined up perfectly

true,” says Greg. “Our culture

to deal with those emotions in

with Greg’s return to work.

has always been entwined with

a healthy way we will become

“I heard of the employment

opportunity through Shawna

Mother Nature, and that’s never

going to go away, just get out and

stronger and our lives around us

will improve.

Kiera Dolighan

Happy Birthday!

Steve Simms

Happy Birthday!

John Walker

Happy Birthday!

Carla Berkelaar

Happy Birthday!

12 BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021 BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021 13


Council Meeting Highlights

Council hosted a blanketing ceremony for

Cody Williams to recognise all his hard work

with the Secwepemc Language classes.

Council was in support of having 8 garden boxes

for community use installed down by the Elder’s

building.

June

Covid-19 vaccine clinics were a massive

success; 187 people recieved their second

doses.

Council participated in the naming of the Nekw7usem

Bridge Ceremony on May 7th.

May 5, 2021 is National Day of Awareness for Missing and

Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Chief Sellars, Councillor

Chelsea and WLFN Culture Coordinator participated in the

ceremony at the Cariboo Friendship Centre.

Council approved a donation of $1000

to Cariboo Search and Rescue to

acknowledge them as a community

partner and to show appreciation for the

support it provides.

Council approved the renaming of the Health

Station

A Council Strategy retreat is in the planning stage

for October 2021. The retreat will provide Council

dedicated focus time on the future of WLFN.

Council supported having a press conference for the late Gerald Supernault to help

the RCMP solve the case and provide closure to the Supernault family.

Council is excited to hear that Enbridge is donating a modular

home to WLFN Community. Placement location is still to be

determined.

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BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021 15


JUNE

2021

Virtual Bingo Night

Council Meeting

Fathers Day BBQ

Aboriginal Day

Last Day of School

Council Meeting

Stay up to date on all of our events by following our

Facebook page: Williams Lake First Nation

16 BOO MAGA - JUNE 2021

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