Latisha Johnny of Tl’esqox (Toosey) skillfully captures a sockeye salmon from the Chilcotin River on the south side of the Farwell Canyon bridge on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Latisha Johnny of Tl’esqox (Toosey) skillfully captures a sockeye salmon from the Chilcotin River on the south side of the Farwell Canyon bridge on Sunday, Aug. 29. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Year in Review: September 2021

First Nations fishery on Chilcotin River extended

September 2, 2021

First Nations fishery on Chilcotin River extended

A limited sockeye salmon opening on the Chilcotin River was been extended into the fall for a First Nations food fishery. Tsilhqot’in tribal chair Chief Joe Alphonse said this year’s rebound of salmon was the most the nation has seen in five years.

“In 2017 we lost our fishery to the fires, in 2018 the same thing. In 2019 we had the Big Bar Slide and we lost two years of fishing.”

Opposition to vaccine passports puts pressure on Cariboo politicians

Leaders in the Cariboo are feeling the pressure of ongoing and evolving COVID-19 restrictions, which has many members of the public challenging government.

Cariboo Chilcotin Liberal MLA Lorne Doerkson did not attend a large, Fight 4 Freedom rally in Williams Lake Wednesday (Aug. 25), despite posters noting he would be available for questions. Doerkson said he had nothing to do with the posters or organizers.

“I will not defy public health orders to attend any kind of meeting or public gathering,” Doerkson told the Tribune Thursday. “However, the public health order does allow me to meet with much smaller groups of people, which in this case I have met with a number of the participants of the march.”

September 9, 2021

Website launched for COVID card

The B.C. government began issuing COVID-19 online vaccination cards for entry to restaurants, sports and entertainment, with an early surge in demand that created similar backups to vaccine and other services in the long-running pandemic.

The province’s technical team opened access to the website Tuesday morning, imposing a wait time as the system was tested and capacity increased.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the vaccine card is to provide additional confidence for people and businesses, as B.C. has passed 77 per cent of full immunization for everyone 12 years and older.

September 9, 2021

Youth-led mural unveiled in Williams Lake

Thanks to 36 young artists working over 15 painting days a 15-by-90 foot vibrant mural is gracing downtown Williams Lake.

Under the mentorship of Tiffany Jorgensen of Cariboo Art Beat, the youth-led mural is the largest mural in the city and painted on the side of the new Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin building at Fourth Avenue South.

Construction will begin on the building’s renovation in a few weeks and hopefully be ready to open in March 2022.

September 16, 2021

Jury finds Kyle Gilpin guilty of manslaughter in 2018 Tsideldel homicide

A jury has found Kyle Gilpin guilty of one charge of manslaughter in the case of a homicide at Tsideldel First Nation on Oct. 19, 2018.

Gilpin was found not guilty in a second charge of attempting to obstruct justice and uttering threats.

The jury trial commenced in Williams Lake Supreme Court on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 and finished with the jury making its decision on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. He will be sentenced in the new year.

September 16, 2021

Student numbers up at many schools throughout School District 27

School enrollments were up significantly across the Cariboo-Chilcotin, as more people move to the region and others return to class after a year of home-schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Williams Lake’s Mountview and Chilcotin Road elementary schools have both seen an increase in students. Horse Lake and Forest Grove elementary schools have also welcomed more students this year, according to School District 27 Supt. Chris van der Mark.

“We are seeing a significant bump in our projected numbers – we’ve had a lot more kids show up than we were expecting,” van der Mark said. “Clearly, there’s been some people relocating to the area and we have a lot of new families coming into the community.”

September 16, 2021

Elks Hall sold, closing in Williams Lake, club continues

Selling and shutting down the Elks Halls in Williams Lake was not the club’s desire, but with only six members they could not keep it going, said the club’s president.

“We don’t really want it to shut down, it’s such a community centre,” Randy Schellenberg told the Tribune Wednesday, Sept. 8. “The only other big venue is the Gibraltar Room and with this gone it’s going to hurt.”

Schellenberg said a local construction contractor came forward, bought it and is going to board it up for now.

“He bought it for speculation,” he added.

September 23, 2021

Doherty headed to Ottawa to represent Cariboo-Prince George

Conservative candidate Todd Doherty was re-elected Cariboo-Prince George MP for a third term. During the campaign Doherty travelled 7,800 kilometres in 36 days to visit the riding.

“In non-COVID that would be normal, but that was a lot of miles in a short period of time,” he said.

September 23, 2021

North District RCMP extends apology for role in residential schools

Esk’etemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Fred Robbins received a formal apology from North District RCMP for its significant role on behalf of Canada in the residential school era in Williams Lake on Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Myron Friesen presented Robbins with a framed letter written by North District Commander Chief Supt. Warren Brown.

“I want to acknowledge and convey my heartfelt sorrow and condolences for your community and Indigenous peoples across Canada who suffered through and continue to realize the horrors from residential schools,” Brown stated.

September 30, 2021

Leaders for Truth and Reconciliation

Canada will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, 2021, something both Orange Shirt Society founders Phyllis Webstad and former Cariboo Regional District director Joan Sorley have been working to make happen for years.

Webstad is Northern Secwépemc from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek/Dog Creek).

In April 2013, with the encouragement of Sorley, Webstad told her story which inspired the first Orange Shirt Day that year on Sept. 30.

The book Orange Shirt Day Sept. 30 written by Webstad and Sorely received the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award in September and a documentary featuring Webstad – Coming Home – premiered on Orange Shirt Day at UBC.

September 30, 2021

Youth lead climate strike

About a dozen people participated in a climate strike in Williams Lake Friday, Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Organized by Third Planet Crusade Williams Lake, the event saw participants take a walk together armed with signs, a banner and even a portrait of climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The walk began and ended at Williams Lake city hall, where, following their return, teen organizers Ella Kruus and Julia Zirnhelt gave short speeches.

Kruus, who despite her young age has been one of the local leaders of such events for a number of years now, noted that similar demonstrations were taking place in cities around Canada and the world.


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West Chilcotin nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon arrives in Haiti where she was deployed with Canadian Red Cross. (Photo submitted)

West Chilcotin nurse practitioner Patrice Gordon arrives in Haiti where she was deployed with Canadian Red Cross. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake area residents like Charlie Bourelle and Lauren Beaulieu wait their turn with dozens of others who turned out to vote in the advanced polls Monday afternoon at the Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre. Voting Day is Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake area residents like Charlie Bourelle and Lauren Beaulieu wait their turn with dozens of others who turned out to vote in the advanced polls Monday afternoon at the Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre. Voting Day is Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)