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:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

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

Patrons exercise at Re4rm Fitness prior to last week’s new, provincial COVID-19 regulations. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake fitness centres adapt amid new COVID-19 regulations

Gymnastics, dance studios, martial arts, yoga, pilates, strength and conditioning impacted

Patrons enjoy some skiing and the views at the top of the chairlift at Mt. Timothy Recreation Resort. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Mt. Timothy nearing opening date; owners excited for upcoming season

Once open, hours will be Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘It was just a matter of time’: SD27 superintendent confirms two COVID-19 cases at LCSS

An entire PE class is self-isolating as Interior Health engages in contact tracing

A volunteer with the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association for the past 12 years and its current president, Mike Rispin moved to the lakecity in 1991. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Rispin skates through pandemic at helm of minor hockey

“I never did plan on staying here, but I liked the outdoor activities,” Rispin said.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

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

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

The grey region of this chart shows the growth of untraced infection, due to lack of information on potential sources. With added staff and reorganization, the gap is stabilized, Dr. Bonnie Henry says. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 tracing to keep up with surging cases

People now notified of test results by text message

Most Read