Williams Lake First Nation launches 4-H club

Julia Flinton hopes to have majority of the Williams Lake First Nation 4-H club funded through sponsorships and grants. She has currently launched an online 50/50 fundraiser. (Julia Flinton Facebook photo)Julia Flinton hopes to have majority of the Williams Lake First Nation 4-H club funded through sponsorships and grants. She has currently launched an online 50/50 fundraiser. (Julia Flinton Facebook photo)
“The kids love it,” said Shawna Philbrick. (Julia Flinton Facebook photo)“The kids love it,” said Shawna Philbrick. (Julia Flinton Facebook photo)

A group effort to connect First Nations youth with agriculture has resulted in the launch of a new 4-H Club in B.C.’s Central Interior.

Since Oct. 15, members of the Williams Lake First Nation 4-H Club have been visiting the 150 Mile Ranch daily to feed steers as part of their 4-H beef projects.

“It’s been an in-house production which has been really neat to see,” said 4-H ‘A’ leader Julia Flinton, adding it was her goal to make it accessible for youth within the surrounding area.

The 150 Mile Ranch is currently being leased to WLFN in exchange for land given to the province to upgrade Highway 97 from 150 Mile House to Lexington, just south of the City of Williams Lake.

Youth won’t be required to pay the producer or supplier until their animal is sold at the annual Williams Lake and District 4-H Show and Sale, Flinton noted.

Flinton grew up on a small farm on Fox Mountain near Williams Lake and as a youth was heavily involved with 4-H as were her brothers.

Read More: Canim Valley 4-H Club: meet the club members and projects for 62nd annual show and sale

“I jumped on the opportunity to start one in Sugar Cane with WLFN because I think it will be a really valuable program to have,” Flinton said.

“There was interest expressed in the community, and it’s just such a great program for youth.”

Although Flinton was not initially certain she would have time to lead the 4-H club as she has a toddler at home, she said her mother-in-law June Harry had talked her into it. Harry was hired in 2016 by WLFN to manage a beef operation at the ranch.

“So that’s how it kind of all started,” Flinton said.

Efforts to get the 4-H club off the ground earlier this year were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID has made it more challenging but certainly we’ve had several Indigenous communities in B.C. that have expressed interest in looking at developing the youth program,” said 4-H British Columbia volunteer support coordinator Marie McGivern.

Some of those communities include Canoe Creek/Dog Creek, Merritt and Kamloops.

Read More: Williams Lake and District 4-H live auction takes place Monday, Aug. 10

A first year start up grant has been made available for new 4-H clubs which covers the registration costs of members and provides them each with $25 for supplies said Marika Laird with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.

As well as having received backing from McGivern and Laird, Flinton has also leaned on the support of parents and 4-H Club leaders Connie Lynn Stafford from Springhouse and Michelle Archie of Canim Lake.

Flinton said they hope to take the lead of the Canim Lake Band in which their band operated businesses purchase the animals at the annual Williams Lake and District 4-H Show and Sale. From there they are sent for slaughter and are processed before being distributed to the community.

“I love 4-H and wish I could go back and still do it,” Flinton said, adding they will also be launching swine and lamb projects.

“I think it will be very valued in the community and I think these kids will get a lot out of it.”

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsWilliams Lake

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

Just Posted

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read