June 3, 2021
Indigenous communities rocked by findings of unmarked graves in Kamloops
Chiefs from across B.C. have been meeting at length Friday morning after Indigenous communities were rocked by the news of the discovery of the remains of 215 children — some as young as three years old — at the site of the former Kamloops residential school.
“I’ve never seen (Chief) Willie (Sellars) like this. He has a thousand pounds on his shoulders,” said Williams Lake First Nations CAO Aaron Mannella Friday morning (May 28). “He feels the burden of all First Nations people and he’s reeling, like many First Nations people are today.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a moment of silence during question period Friday morning, and Premier John Horgan was expected to release a statement on the findings as well.
Just 25 kilometres from downtown Williams Lake is the site of the St. Joseph’s Mission residential school, which operated from July 19, 1891 to June 30, 1981.
Thousands of Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in and Southern Dakelh/Carrier attended the mission and still live in the Cariboo Chilcotin area today.
June 3, 2021
Indigenous communities search for healing
A sacred fire burned in the community of Sugar Cane for four days starting June 2 at 5 p.m. as Indigenous communities such as Williams Lake First Nation, and those across the country, tried to come to grips with the finding of the remains of 215 Indigenous children found in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Secwepemc WLFN Chief Willie Sellars said anyone was welcome to come to the fire as needed for drumming, prayers, support and healing. A closed ceremony was also being planned for cultural leaders from across the nations to attend at the site of the St. Joseph’s Mission, a former residential school just six kilometres from WLFN.
“We’ve all felt the impacts of residential schools in our communities whether it’s direct descendants or survivors or those that have passed on, those suffering from inter-generational trauma. We start talking about reconciliation and how that’s going to be achieved, we always say that’s going to be generations from now,” Sellars during a ceremony held Friday evening, May 28, where leaders spoke of the trauma of residential schools, the need to support one another and the path forward.
June 10, 2021
Horsefly duo Romeros take home another Juno
Award-winning duo Pharis and Jason Romero of Horsefly can add JUNO Traditional Roots Album of the Year to the list of accolades they have received for their lastest musical offerings, Bet on Love.
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) paid tribute to artists and industry veterans at the forefront of Canada’s music scene Friday evening, June 4 at the 2021 JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Music Canada.
Hosted by CBC’s Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe, the virtual version of the industry event unveiled the recipients of 37 JUNO Awards, The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award and the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award Presented by Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.
June 17, 2021
Community rallies for teen injured at Boitanio Park
Donations and words of support and encouragement continued to pour in for a Williams Lake family, whose son was badly injured in a mountain bike crash in Boitanio Bike Park Friday night (June 11).
Cam Prest, 19, was biking in the park with friends. It was dark and he misjudged one of the jumps and landed on his head at the base of a jump, said family who started a GoFundMe Sunday morning.
The force of the crash burst two vertebrae in his thoracic spine and Cam was airlifted from Williams Lake to Vancouver General Hospital for medical treatment. Doctors performed surgery Saturday, installing four pins and two plates to replace the vertebrae.
Cam has since returned home and is recovering with the support of family.