Cecil Sheena helps lead a ceremony May 28 to honour the 215 Indigenous children found at the former Kamloops residential school in May 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cecil Sheena helps lead a ceremony May 28 to honour the 215 Indigenous children found at the former Kamloops residential school in May 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Year in Review: June 2021

Indigenous communities search for healing

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 10, 2021

Williams Lake high school students thanked by RCMP for helping stop bush fire

Williams Lake RCMP credited local secondary students for helping stop the spread of a bush fire on Thursday, June 3.

At about 9:30 a.m. police were notified of a potential forest fire in the woods above the 1400 block of Broadway Avenue South.

The officers located not only several trees and parts of the ground on fire, but students from a Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus out for a hike helping at the scene.

“Williams Lake RCMP would like to extend their appreciation to Ethan Reid, Brenden Higginson, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink and the responding firefighters from the Cariboo Fire Centre,” noted a news release.

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.

June 17, 2021

WLFN planning ground analysis of land near St. Joseph’s Mission residential school

Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) announced Wednesday, June 9 it is developing a strategy for a comprehensive ground analysis of the lands surrounding the former site of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School.

Since the confirmation of unmarked graves of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School was announced on May 27, WLFN Chief Willie Sellars said it has been a whirlwind of emotion as longstanding scars have been painfully reopened within the community, region and throughout Canada.

“The legacy of St.

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to honour the 215 children found at the Kamloops residential school, and also for anyone impacted by the schools and feeling the need to visit the area.

June 24, 2021

Orange Shirt Banner Project unveiled in Williams Lake

A new Orange Shirt Banner Project was unveiled in Williams Lake on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The banner — with the words Every Child Matters and the number 215 — hung across the entrance to the city’s downtown on Oliver Street from June 21 to July 26 and again from Sept. 6 to 30.


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Williams Lake

 

2021 Lake City Secondary School graduates Erin Gilroy, Oliva Gash, Makenna Watson shine at the Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12. Grad ceremonies were held over two days at LCSS Williams Lake campus, and wrapped up with the parade where lone lines of well-wishers drove by to congratulate graduates. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)

2021 Lake City Secondary School graduates Erin Gilroy, Oliva Gash, Makenna Watson shine at the Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12. Grad ceremonies were held over two days at LCSS Williams Lake campus, and wrapped up with the parade where lone lines of well-wishers drove by to congratulate graduates. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)