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Williams Lake hires Indigenous relations, climate action, active transportation coordinator

Natalie Swift has been working for the city on river valley flood remediation
The city of Williams Lake has hired Natalie Swift as an Indigenous relations and climate action/active transportation coordinator. (City of Williams Lake photo)

Natalie Swift has been hired as the city of Williams Lake Indigenous relations and climate action/active transportation coordinator (IRCAATC).

A newly-formed position, the role focuses on active transportation, climate change and Indigenous relations.

Created after direction from city council, with prompting from members of the community, all three components of the position are part of the city’s 2022-2026 strategic plan.

“This council has made a firm commitment to building strong, collaborative partnerships with Indigenous neighbours as we continue to focus on meaningful reconciliation,” said Mayor Surinderpal Rathor. “In addition, mitigating the impacts of climate change through education and best practices, including reducing our carbon footprint through active transportation initiatives are extremely important now and in the future.”

Swift has been working as the city’s recovery coordinator addressing the River Valley flood recovery efforts for the past two years.

She will begin her new role on Aug. 8.

Swift has a background in environmental management, experience working with Indigenous communities and a dedication to climate action.

“We are looking forward to seeing this position in action,” Rathor said. “Our community will be well served having someone with Natalie’s background and dedication in this important role.”

As the IRCAATC coordinator, Swift will work to advance and maintain the city’s relationships with local Indigenous communities, as well as implement initiatives to increase the city’s capacity to reduce its climate impact and to provide opportunities for the community to adapt to climate change, as well as support and promote active transportation initiatives in Williams Lake.

Swift is also a paddle boarder and last year organized the first Witches Paddle on Williams Lake in October 2022.

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