The Language of the Land fundraiser was held at the Williams Lake Longhouse on Saturday, Nov. 9 to raise money to support the Tsilhqot’in National Government’s ongoing court case.
Tickets were sold out and the venue was at capacity of 160 people. The event began with drum songs and prayer followed by Councillor JoAnne Moiese from the Williams Lake Indian Band who gave a welcome to the land, in lieu of Chief William Sellars.
Full dinner and dessert were provided and followed by music from Carmen Mutschele, Alex Zamorano, Beka Solo, Wayne Lucier and Bernie’s band. A live loonie auction and a silent auction were components throughout the evening.
“From what we have heard and seen at the event, it was an important community builder for Williams Lake. We saw both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people coming together in a unique and fun event for a cause that everyone cared about deeply, protection of the land and upholding Indigenous rights and title,” Gabriel Zamorano, volunteer-organizer, said. “Furthermore, it was held with the spirit of reconciliation at the forefront. We are completely honoured that so many attended.”
Zamorano said they received $5,000 worth of donations from the community from their live and silent auctions. Winners of the auctions received prizes such as rain jackets, paintings, a traditional drum, a truck load of firewood, a wood splitter, concert tickets, massage therapy services, hand-knit sweaters and quilts, snowshoes, and much more.
The grand silent auction prize was a two-night boat trip on Chilko Lake with an estimated value of over $2,000. Zamorano said they would like to greatly thank all those from the community that donated items or professional services to the event.
The event raised $6,520 by the end of the night and all proceeds have been directly donated to the Help the Tsilhqot’in Nation protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) gofundme page which now is at $7,170.
Zamorano invites any concerned citizens in the community to donate to the gofundme online.