Boo Maga October 2021


Boo Maga


October 2021


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Councillor’s Message


We hear an update

from Councillor JoAnne


Welcome to

the Boo Maga

(puméke7), which

translates to

“drum stick”.

Featured Staff Member



Hear what our

Receptionist Frances

Supernault has to say!

Salmon Cutting

WLFN members have

been busy cutting

salmon this fall

Treaty Misconceptions



Kaitlyn Seath debunks

some common


Fall Community Clean Up

Join us on October

16th to clean up our


Council Meeting Highlights


Take a look at what

your Council have been

discussing over the past


Got an idea or story for

future editions?

Contact us:

250-296-3507 ext.185

General Inquiries:

250-296-3507 ext.103


Williams Lake First



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I would like to begin by sending

a virtual hug to our community

members. It has been a difficult

last year and a half due to covid-19.

However, we have persevered

as a community. We have been

fortunate to have had such an

organized Emergency Operations

Team that was led by Brittany

Cleminson and Aaron Mannella.

This team met weekly and made

sure our members were provided

for with the necessities. A thank

you to my fellow Chief and Council

members who agreed to top up

our Covid – 19 funding to provide

a one-time assistance to our

members 18 years and over.

I have just completed my 7th year

as a Williams Lake First Nation

Councillor. The first 4 years were

served under the leadership of

our former Kukwpi7 Ann Louie.

I want to thank her for providing

guidance to myself during those

years. Then the last 3 years have

been under the leadership of

Kukwpi7 Willie Sellars. I would

like to thank him for allowing me

to grow as a council member.

I appreciate the pre-covid

meetings that I was able to attend

on behalf of our council. These

meetings were the BC Assembly

of Chiefs Meetings, First Nations

Summit Meetings, Interior

Health and Secwepemc Health

Caucus Meetings to name a few.

I enjoyed those meetings and

always looked at what the needs

of our community and did not

hesitate to ask questions while in

attendance. You know me, never

afraid to speak up in public.

I was the Health Lead Alternate for

our community for approximately a

year and a half at the beginning of

my current term. That called for me

to attend the Interior and Secwepemc

Health Caucus meetings. It was at

one of those meetings that I was able

to help with speaking notes for our

Secwepemc Nation to make a request

for additional Emergency Funding. It

was at the Interior Health Caucus that

I was able to hear speakers discuss

the need for improvement in Mental

Health services for our people.

On a personal note, that hit home,

and I made it a priority to ask for

improved Mental Health services for

our membership. Furthermore, we

as a council discussed our Health

building and programming. It has

been discussed by our elders and

community to begin to administer our

own health programming. It has been

exciting to see that come to fruition

in January 2021. Kukstemc to Three

Corners Health Service Society and

their director for providing guidance

to our community. I am excited to see

what will be happening in the area for


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Health for WL First Nation in 2021


Another area that I had identified

as an area of improvement was our

Social Development. This is after

hearing Chief Clarence Louie speak

over the years. We need to focus on

all parts of our community. We may

be strong financially and have great

staff/leadership. However, we need to

also make sure that we are providing

wellness and supports for our

membership. Chief Clarence Louie

once said that he has his staff end any

session with a client by having that

individual have a back to work, school

or training plan. As a council we

talked about how we could improve

our Social Services. From those

discussions, a request was made to

Knucwentecw for funding. Kukstemc

to that society, as they provided

funding for us to have a Community

Social Worker position!

As a council member, I have been

blessed to serve these last 3 years.

It does get difficult now to juggle

my full-time job as Lead Teacher at

Little Chiefs Primary School and my

council duties. However, that will get

easier as we move forward. We are

building capacity at Little Chiefs and

with continuity it is easier to be away

for council meetings. I would like to

mention that when we as council

members are working for the band

and on council, that we do not get

paid on the days of council meetings.

I do believe that there may have

been the odd meeting that I may

have had to miss due to work

duties. However, that is no more

than 5 in the last three years.

I hope that our community

continues to prosper. I am so

proud of the new housing. This

is the first time in 20 years that

considerable housing units have

been built. A huge welcome to

Samantha Dick as our Housing

Coordinator. It is fantastic to see

the amount of work that she is

doing. I can not wait to see our

members moving into the new

units that have been built by

our own community! Way to be

self sufficient Williams Lake First


In closing, I wish to say a big thank

you to our community members

and staff who continue to work

hard in providing traditional

foods to our membership. It was

a highlight for me, to be able to

cut salmon this summer. It has

been at least 4 years since I have

been able to cut any number of

fish. I thoroughly enjoyed doing

that and wish to thank my son

Anthony Sellars, Dustin Duncan,

Barb Duncan and Dave Archie

for catching those salmon. The

elders received some in August.

Then the first week of September

I had the good fortune to be able

to cut some salmon to smoke.

My heart is glad. I cried that day,

I talked to the fish I was working

on and said a huge thank you for

them returning.

I hope that this report finds you in

good health. Stay strong and we

will get through anything that is

set in front of us.

All my relations,

JoAnne Moiese

Councillor JoAnne Moiese


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Did you know?: an

Introduction to Indigenous

Policing Services

Cst. Adam Hildebrandt

Did you know that the Royal

Canadian Mounted Police has

over a 150 different types of

career opportunities to choose

from? Within the Williams Lake

RCMP you will see RCMP members

who work General Duty, General

Investigation, Crime Reduction,

Police Dog Services, Highway

Patrol and Indigenous Policing to

name a few.

The Indigenous Policing Services

was created as the First Nations

Policing Program in 1991

because the RCMP recognized it

held a complex legacy with the

Indigenous Peoples of Canada

and there was a need to commit

to building a renewed relationship

and trust with the more than 600

Indigenous communities served

across Canada. The RCMP’s

Indigenous Policing Service:

• Enhances community policing


• Supports culturally responsive

policing in First Nation and Inuit


• Recognizes input from

Indigenous communities of

policing services received.

The Indigenous Policing Services

provides a member who is

dedicated a 100% of their regular

working to the policing needs

of the First Nations community

through an agreement between

the Federal Government, the

Provincial Government and the

First Nation government. This

role is a community centered

one collaborating with the First

Nations for crime prevention

and educational initiatives to

address the communities policing

priorities and concerns.

My role within the community is

to be a liaison between the RCMP

and the WLFN and working with in

the community including:

• Cultural sensitivity training;

• Involvement with school


• Community, youth and sports


• Career fairs in conjunction with

crime prevention initiatives;

• Networking with service

providers and organizations in

the community;

• Attending community events;

• Meeting with Elders.

Contributing to safer and healthier

Indigenous communities is one of

the five strategic priorities of the


Do you have input related to

crime prevention and safety

within Sugar Cane? Come see me

at my community office or email

me adam.hildebrandt@rcmp-grc.


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Frances Supernault

Q: What is your role at WLFN?

A: My role here at WLFN is to be a friendly, familiar

face and voice when members, clientele or business

associates call in or visit our office.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is the WLFN Team. We

all encourage each other and there is a sense of

comfort and acceptance in my work environment.

We have a “Cheers for Peers” pin board where staff

are encouraged to put post-it notes with inspiration

or thank yous. A special thing that I do as part of

being Receptionist is fill in Birthday Cards for staff

for each month. I enjoy being in the middle of things,

seeing & talking with many people throughout the


Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your


A: The most challenging thing in my work is,

honestly: ”I am not God”. I do not have the power

to do everything. I have learned a lot throughout my

life and know when I need to slow down.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: Many things, being home watching movies, being

with family, being with my bestie or friends. I like to

go to the lake to chill, I like to do some light hiking. I

love to just go for a drive and love to travel. Sewing,

making Star Quilts, I love it, it pulls me into the

NOW. Powwows, I love Dances, I will drive anytime,

anywhere to go to a dance, especially if Kord-O-Roy is

playing! I will jump out of a vehicle with my weekend

bag just to go to a dance, “Right JoAnne?!”

Q:Do you have a message for the community

and/or youth?

A: As you young folk move through life, experience

different jobs, and stick around long enough to know

if it is for you or not, then move on. Go to different

countries and work there. If I could’ve done that I

would have. Williams Lake is not going anywhere and

it will still be here when you get back. Find what you

love to do, that will make a huge difference in your

life. As I look back on my life, I have experience in a

lot of things. Policing was my biggest dream, I can

at least say, “been there, done that.” Working with

Heavy Machinery, I can say, “been there, done that.”

One very important saying has stuck with me for

many years, “if its worth doing, do it well.” I took that

to mean, “If it pays your bills and gets food on your

table…its worth doing.”


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WLFN Youth Prepare

to go Back to School in


WLFN hosted a Back to School Haircut day at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium. The event, which

was organised by the Recreation Department, allowed youth to get a new trim and style, coloured

hair extensions and gel polish. We would like to say a huge thank you to Julie and her team from

Advance Cut Barber Shop and Hair Salon for all their hard work. In total, 31 WLFN children and youth

recieved a new hair cut ready to start the new school year.


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Salmon Cutting for


“For Secwempec people, fish is

life,” explains WLFN’s Cultural

Coordinator, David Archie.

“We are river people.”

Salmon have held an important

position in the lives of the

Secwepemc people for thousands

of years. The large fish is

considered a main source of food,

with many of the salmon being

smoked and dried to provide

throughout the winter months.

“Fishing, cutting and smoking is an

important tradition, as it mirrors

what our ancestors would have

done thousands of years ago,”

says David.

“From the start, all kinds of fish

from the lakes, ponds and rivers

have fed us and provided us with

the strength and ability to survive

and prosper throughout our

traditional territories. Catching

and eating fish has always

been an important part of our

cultural history.”

Cutting salmon is not only

traditional, but it also holds

an important spiritual link to

Secwepemc people.

“When we eat fish, it also

represents our spiritual

connection to the bear, who

also survives on fish and

berries, just as we do. This helps

us sustain our connection to

the natural world,” explains


Velva Tenale, an elder from

WLFN has been hard at work

already this fall and has been

spending her days cutting and

smoking salmon that had been

caught just a few days earlier.

“They’re big this year!” laughed

Velva, as she picked up an


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enormous salmon and prepared

to cut it.

“It’s been a good year for salmon

too,” she added, noting that in

previous years she hadn’t had as

many fish to cut.

“I felt a little out of practice for the

first few hours!”

“It’s a lot of work,” says Velva, “but

it will set myself and my family up

for the winter.”

The salmon is first gutted, then

cleaned. The head, tail and fins

are removed, before the bones

are taken out and the fish is cut

into filets. The fish is then salted,

dried and smoked, canned or


“Everyone learns how to cut

differently,” says Velva. “It all just

depends how you were taught.”

Velva says she has been cutting

fish since she was a teenager and

originally learnt from a group of

Elders at Canoe Creek.

“I used to go out and help them

during the summer,” she says.

“There was one lady there who could

cut almost 200 fish a day, so I learnt

a lot from her.”

“It’s a lot of work, but it keeps me


“My horoscope a few weeks ago told

me to get everything done now, as

there’s more on the way – I see what

that meant now!”


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Common Treaty


Kaitlyn Seath

It is no secret that the treaty negotiation process can be complex, and sometimes controversial. This is

especially true when the political landscape within which negotiations take place is constantly progressing, with

new policies and principles being implemented each year. The main priority for the treaty team is to ensure

that community members have the knowledge and facts required to make informed opinions throughout the

Final Agreement negotiations. We have gathered a few common concerns that we hear often coming from

community members and explain the truth behind each misconception below.

Misconception #1: Modern treaty negotiations serve to extinguish

Indigenous rights and title.

Truth: While it is true that treaty negotiations have been manipulated by colonial governments throughout much of

Canada’s history to strip Indigenous peoples of inherent rights, there has recently been substantial developments

in Canadian policy to prevent this pattern from continuing through the modern treaty negotiation process. When

the Canadian Constitution was patriated in 1982, Aboriginal title became constitutionally protected. Section 35 of

the Constitution Act was introduced with the intent to recognize and reconcile pre-existing Aboriginal rights. More

recently, in 2018, the Principal’s Accord on Transforming Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia officially affirmed

that extinguishment and surrender of rights do not have any place in modern-day Crown Indigenous relations,

treaty negotiations or other agreements. Additionally, the First Nations Summit, Canada, and British Columbia

introduced the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia in

2019. This innovative policy reaffirms the notion that treaty negotiations do not involve the extinguishment or

modification of Indigenous rights and title in any capacity, and further emphasizes that the modern negotiation

process intends to reconcile pre-existing Indigenous sovereignty with assumed Crown sovereignty. Overall, this

means that treaty negotiations will be grounded in the recognition of Indigenous rights and ownership of lands

and resources moving forward.

Misconception #2: When the Final Agreement is complete and ready

to be voted on, it will simply be a polished version of the Agreementin-Principle


Truth: When the community voted to move from stage four to stage five negotiations in 2016, they were doing

so with the understanding that there was a considerable amount of content that needed to be changed before

completing the Final Agreement. This is especially true because the treaty team was negotiating the AIP under

limited capacity, as Canada and BC were still operating treaty negotiations within the policy of extinguishment or

modification. This issue is coupled with the fact that there have been recent developments within Canada that

indicate willingness on the parts of the federal and provincial governments to recognize Indigenous rights more

broadly- including Canada’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

in 2016 and BC’s passing of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in 2019. As a result, the Final

Agreement that community members are presented before the final referendum will likely look very different

than the AIP that they approved in 2016. There are plenty of opportunities for the treaty team to renegotiate

language, and articles that were included in the AIP in order to secure certainty regarding NStQ’s rights, title, and



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Misconception #3: It is risky to pursue self-determination through

treaty, because we won’t be able to make changes to the Final

Agreement once it is signed- this is especially concerning if another

Nation negotiates an agreement with more favourable terms in the


Truth: This is a fair concern to have, especially given the fact that BC and Canada insisted for many years that

Final Agreements represented “full and final” settlement of Indigenous rights. Once again, given the new policies

that have emerged over the past few years, this is no longer the case. The Recognition and Reconciliation of

Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia mentioned previously also ensures that treaty relations

are able to evolve over time, and that the Final Agreement will act as a living document that can be updated and

altered as Indigenous rights continue to evolve in Canada. The treaty team is also making strategic decisions

throughout negotiations so that NStQ communities are able to make necessary changes more easily in the

future. For example, the Final Agreement will only outline overarching treaty rights, and more detailed sideagreements

will be negotiated alongside the main document. These side-agreements include logistical details,

such as operational and administrative language, that we don’t want locked-in to the Final Agreement as they will

likely need to be updated and altered regularly. Additionally, NStQ plans to negotiate a “me too” clause into the

Final Agreement, which would protect our right to reopen our treaty negotiations in the future if another Nation

secures a more favourable agreement.

Misconception #4: By the time that treaty negotiations are finished,

we will have accumulated so much debt that communities will see

very little financial returns.

Truth: This is another example of a concern that was absolutely valid throughout much of the negotiation process-

and it is one that Indigenous Nations have successfully fought to have amended. In the past, the Crown funded

the treaty negotiation process through loans provided to First Nations, which ultimately placed an enormous

financial burden on participating communities. However, in 2018, the federal government announced that they

would be eliminating and forgiving all loans accrued through the treaty negotiation process, and promised that

funding would be granted in the form of non-repayable contributions moving forward. This means that any debt

that NStQ had accumulated through the negotiation process has been eliminated, and we will only be receiving

grant funding to complete the work required in the final stage of our negotiation.


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Staff Birthdays

and Anniversaries

Lisa McAlpine

4th Anniversary

Anthony Sellars

9th Anniversary

Jordan Sellars

2nd Anniversary

Kyleen Toyne

2nd Anniversary & Happy Birthday!

Heidi Strong

Happy Birthday

Madison Douglas

1st Anniversary

Rick Gilbert

Happy Birthday!

Tanya Thomas

Happy Birthday!

Shannon Skeels

Happy Birthday!


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Council Meeting Highlights


Council discussed the current state of COVID-19 in the

region and determind to continue following the health

guidelines and recommendations put in place by Interior

Health, First Nations Health Authority, and the Province of BC.

At the August 23, 2021 WLFN Council meeting,

Mary Alphonse was presented with a Star blanket

in recognition of her continuous service with the

Indigenous justice system.

Council considered mechanisms to communicate WLFN’s progress in various

government departments and initiatives in order to keep the membership

informed. A general assembly and open house was announced at the new

Administration building for October 6, 2021, for keeping WLFN members up to

date on current activities and developments.


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The 2020/2021 fiscal year audits included active

participation by Council in reviewing financial

statements for all departments and WLFN Corporations.

Council authorized the CAO and staff to seek potential tenants for the

various community buildings made vacant by the recent transition to

the new Administration building at Quigli Drive at Coyote Rock.

WLFN Council endorsed Kukpi7 (Chief) Willie Sellars to lead a party that

includes WLFN Cultural Coordinator David Archie and hunters to

the traditional territory of the Akisqnuk First Nation. The intent of the

trip is to bring a gift of salmon and reinvigorate tribal trade between the



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Council Meeting

WLFN Open House

Community Clean Up

Council Meeting

Halloween Party

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

Facebook page: Williams Lake First Nation


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