WLIB getting new elders centre

TRU construction students will be building the new centre at Sugarcane

Williams Lake Indian Band’s elders have something to celebrate.

Their community has entered into a partnership with Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus to build a new elders facility at Sugarcane, something leadership said is long overdue.

“I think it’s about time we built a centre for our elders,” band councillor Rick Gilbert said during a small ceremony at the building site Monday. “People have given their everything all their lives and it is about time we give them back something.”

Elder Virginia Gilbert blessed the site with a prayer and traditional song, and thanked the Great Spirit.

“I am thankful we can have a safe place to gather and our children can watch it being built,” Virginia said.

Carpenter, Residential Construction Foundation instructor Mark Kiefiuk and his students will build it, which Rick said made him very pleased.

“Hopefully you are going to learn a lot,” he said as he encouraged the students to work safely and to the best of their ability.

“Remember who you are doing it for,” Rick said. “It will be here for a long time and hopefully through doing this work you will be starting out on a brand new career.”

Responding, their instructor thanked WLIB for giving his students the opportunity to work in the community.

“It’s a privilege,” Kiefiuk said. “We will respect the place and put our best foot forward to do a job that will be what you would like to see here. “They are a great bunch, this class.”

Housing manager Holly Wycotte said the project has been in the works for almost a decade.

“We had utilized a trailer for the elders that ended up sustaining some severe water damage and we purchased another one, but it doesn’t fit the needs of the elders anymore,” Wycotte said. “The meeting space isn’t big enough and there isn’t really any room in there for them to do anything.”

The new building will have a kitchen, activity room, craft room, office and a small bedroom.

When the band realized it had some funds a representative met with TRU executive director Ray Sanders in January to discuss a possible project. By February design plans for the building were in the works.

“This is a great opportunity that the Williams Lake Indian Band has — to work with TRU — and it is a great opportunity for the students to get to work on a project from the ground up,” Wycotte said.

Campus co-ordinator Stacy Wong said TRU is grateful for the partnership with WLIB.

“We have a very close partnership with the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council and this is just an extension of what we’ve already been doing so it’s wonderful,” Wong said.

The fenced area where the building will be constructed was a community garden at one point and Wycotte said the fence will remain in place.

This will mark TRU’s second time doing some work at Sugarcane.

In June 2016, WLIB purchased materials and TRU students learning an introductory to the trades program did a major renovation to one of the houses in the community.

“They got hands-on learning in electrical, plumbing, various aspects of construction, drywall and concrete work as well,” Wycotte said.

It is anticipated the facility will be completed by the end of August, the students said unanimously.

 

WLIB housing manager Holly Wycotte said a partnership with the band and TRU is making it possible for a new elders centre to be built in the community.

Just Posted

Tried and tested, Cariboo Chilcotin residents move beyond 2017 wildfires

It’s been a year of recovery that will continue

Williams Lake Mayor reflects on ups and downs of the 2017 wildfires

A look back at the interviews, the White Lake fire and moving forward

VIDEO: Return of Arts on the Fly resounding success

After a two-year absence, the popular two-day music in Horsefly, B.C. went off smoothly

Quesnel RCMP capture suspect after July 18 B&E, theft

Local business Bumper to Bumper was broken into in the early hours on Wednesday

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Quesnel, Williams Lake

Environment Canada issues storm warning for large hail, strong wind and heavy rain in the Cariboo

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser launched to help mom of French jogger detained after accidentally crossing U.S border

Cedella Roman, 19, was detained in America after accidentally crossing the border

Trump slams Federal Reserve rate hikes

Fed raised benchmark rate for a second time this year in June, and projects two more hikes to come

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Police to provide update on case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur

McArthur worked as a landscaper, allegedly concealed the remains of seven men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

B.C. city wants pot banned from ALR

Mayor and council are concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

Most Read