When I was little, I didn’t really know anything about Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation or much about my Indigenous roots. I hadn’t grown up here and my mother had also been brought up outside of the community and away from our culture.
I was fortunate later that I began working at the Early Years Centre at Stó:lō Service Agency (where I currently serve as the Director) and, at the same time, there were more activities happening at Sq’ewá:lxw. Then my daughter, Mia, was born and we began attending events here.
In the 8 years since, I have learned much about our culture and about being Stó:lō and it has made me feel very proud to be part of Sq’ewá:lxw. I have benefitted from being a member in so many ways and want to give back. As a mother, I want my daughter to feel she is home whenever we are on Sq’ewá:lxw lands.
While I had already served on the Housing and Lands Committee as well as acting as the Youth Representative in the Sq’ep meetings, it was a huge surprise and an honour to be asked to serve as a member of Council. It honestly is not easy; there is a lot to learn. But, the Council and staff have been patient and I am listening and getting an understanding of all the many responsibilities involved.
As a member of Council, my interest is in preserving and expanding our culture and opportunities so that Mia and the other young Sq’ewá:lxw members grow up knowing who they are and where their roots are. I want them to have that sense of belonging that I was fortunate enough to find later and also the chance to live at Ruby Creek without feeling isolated. As the surrounding area grows, that becomes more and more realistic and it is up to members, Council and staff to prepare for that day. As a Council member, I am committed to doing whatever I can to foster an atmosphere where we all feel connected on our land and work to preserve it for our younger and future generations.
I am always open to suggestions from the community and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.