11 years of Indigenous Partnerships – A walk down memory lane
June 15, 2021
We have been lucky enough to establish and maintain several strong relationships with Indigenous communities over the last 11 years. Throughout the years we have witnessed and experienced many special moments, some of which we are excited to highlight in this post.
West Moberly Days
Each year on the final weekend in July, the West Moberly First Nations near Chetwynd, B.C. hosts a weekend-long event for all its community members to gather for meals, entertainment and fellowship. Every year since the beginning of our partnership (and except for 2020 due to COVID-19), we have been proud participants in the weekend-long event, often sponsoring the kickoff BBQ and hosting golf clinics for youth interested in the sport. West Moberly Days has always been a fun and exciting way for us to engage with the community on a personal level and learn from them.
Fort Nelson First Nation Annual Celebration
The Fort Nelson First Nation hosts an annual celebration each August to celebrate and honour their Dene and Cree cultures and traditions. The annual celebration is a three-day event that features fun, food and socialization. In 2018 we were fortunate to attend as sponsors and guests and experience drum dances, workshops, traditional arts, competitions and more. 2018 also marked the first year Fort Nelson First Nations held a Traditional Handgames competition, which drew 14 teams from northern B.C., Yukon and the Northwest Territories. We can’t wait to make our way back to this event in the future!
World Junior A Challenge
On Dec. 5 and 6 2019, Yvonne McAleer, Sales Representative – WFS, visited four schools to meet with the kids and watch them enjoy the Road to World Junior A Challenge School Tour firsthand. Youth at elementary schools in Dawson Creek and Chetwynd had the opportunity to meet some local hockey heroes and learn the game of floorball. Thanks to the support of Black Diamond Cygnus, B.C. Hockey, in partnership with Hockey Canada, delivered fun and educational presentations at elementary schools and community centres across northern B.C. Hockey Canada captured highlights of the tour in this video: WJAC: Bringing the world to Chetwynd.
“Through our sponsorship the program was able to purchase the equipment and each school got to keep a set of equipment, so they may continue the program and continue playing floorball,” McAleer says. “Through our sponsorship, we are able to give back to the communities we work in by ensuring floorball continues in the schools. The sport is less costly than ice hockey, teaches teamwork and promotes a healthy lifestyle through physical activity.”
We have been fortunate to a number of lodges over the years and most recently, in 2019, we opened Sukunka Lodge. The Lodge is designed to house men and women working on the Coastal GasLink pipeline in remote northern B.C. is operated by Black Diamond Cygnus.
Particularly electrifying was the Sukunka Lodge opening ceremony, where Chief Roland Willson of West Moberly First Nations began the event with a blessing. The blessing, as Chief Willson says, “is the connection to the Creator, and asks Creator to watch over [the] area to make sure everything is okay, and [make] sure things are safe.” You can watch the Sukunka Lodge Opening Ceremony video on YouTube here.
Treaty Days, Pow Wows and other Community events
In addition to the events listed above we’ve been honored to participate in a number of Pow Wows, Treaty Day Celebrations and other community events over the years.