Williams Lake RCMP members unload one of several beds hand-crafted by inmates for First Nations communities and local organizations.

Inmates help Santa’s Cariboo Chilcotin efforts

RCMP were out in full force Wednesday unloading a truckload of gifts and furniture, made by inmates for boys and girls in the Cariboo.

Members of the Williams RCMP were out in full force Wednesday morning unloading a truckload of gifts and furniture, made by inmates for boys and girls in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Thanks to a partnership between the Punky Lake Wilderness Society and Corrections Services Canada, inmates from correction facilities around the province handcrafted enough beds, shelves, warm blankets, winter wear and toys to fill a large transport truck to the brim.

The goods are destined for First Nations communities in the Cariboo Chilcotin and other services organizations in Williams such as the Child Development Centre.

“This is the fifth shipment we’ve received but it’s the biggest by far,” said Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society executive director Sarah Jackman, as the truck pulled up to a warehouse on Mackenzie Avenue.

“When I visited with some of the inmates in October they were already excitedly planning for Christmas.”

Some of the inmates — mostly males — have even been sewing star blankets and knitting hats and mitts.

“Who would have known they’d be great at sewing and knitting,” Jackman smiled.

And some companies, hearing about the project, got on board and donated mitts and toques as well.

A second truck with a flatbed contained stacks of hand-crafted garden sheds.

One, measuring eight by 16 feet was destined for the school at Yunesit’in (Stone Indian Band) and another for the Anaham trapline.

Jackman said the program is only a year old.

“We just started talking about it last fall.”

Crediting Brian Lang, district director with Corrections Canada, with the idea, Jackman said Lang’s idea was to keep prisoners occupied in a good way.

“Brian wanted to provide them with skills they could use for employment and benefit communities that could use a hand by giving back to them.”

Jackman met Lang on an unrelated issue and he asked her if she would partner with him.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘It’s like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Face lift planned for Williams Lake city hall building exterior

The old siding will be replaced this summer

Displaced Interior forestry workers access support programs

Hundreds have signed up for pension bridging said consultant Terry Tate

Trail cleanup begins at Scout Island Nature Centre after flood waters recede in Williams Lake

More cleanup work will continue in the coming weeks and months as water levels continue to go down

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read