Category: First Nations People

The last National Aboriginal Day

Dr.Eugene Atleos speaks to staff members and interested public at the , NVIT Speakers series
He is now a former grand chief.
File Photo KDG

June 21st National Aboriginal Day this year will be its last observance as sources say next year it will be National Indigenous Peoples Day.

What’s the difference besides a lot of printing changes.

Aboriginal, a group of first people’s Indigenous a collective term for first people’s, so you should not have to struggle with Metis, Indian , First Nations, Native should all apply without offence to Indigenous.

Canada according to Former PM John Diefenbaker was not to be hyphenated Irish Canadian etc however indigenous will go some way in relieving aboriginals PP


On this day: June 21st 1957

Canada gets its first female member of the Cabinet as Ellen Fairclough is sworn in.


Leonard George

Leonard George has the arts council Old Courthouse Gallery show for June. Titled in the Siege of Roots , the grandson of first nations actor Dan George presents his aboriginal impressionist collection with  two new additions. Featuring  the eye George in his  first new rendition shows the focal face of a large predator cat with compelling  engaging eyes. A single eye centers the other painting in an impression of Cambodian elephants and temple tops “a  retrospective”

Dorothy Spahan also has a first nations pine needle display as well as mini teepees.

On this Day: June 8th 793

Vikings raiding Northumbria starts the practice of Norse activity in the British isles.

TGIF-Baskets of the Nicola Valley


A conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame building on April 6-7 will feature Baskets of the Nicola Valley, with keynote speaker Dr. Marie Anderson. The show at the Hall of Fame is at 2025 Quichena Ave in Merritt.
Registration required @ 250- 378-2771
PSA: cultural concern for those interested. PR

On this Day: March 31st 1949
The Dominion of Newfoundland becomes Canada’s 10th Province.

First lanquage

Mandy Jimmie a grad from the local secondary system in Merritt BC
File Photo :KDG

Mandy  Jimmie teaches First Nations language at NVIT, the local community college. Mandy on the right with hands folded is  a product of Merritt Secondary School.

The friends are standing  at the entrance of the college lecture theater.

On this Day: March 16th 2014

Crimea votes to succeed from the Ukraine.


The Dome of the Coldwater hotel in Merritt. Photo KDG

The dome of the Coldwater Hotel in Merritt.
Photo KDG

Dr. JJ Gillis had an office and a practice in this hotel for may of the years of the first half of the 20th century.  The government long term care facility  near the museum and archives in downtown Merritt, bears his name.

Gillis had the fortune or misfortune of being the member of the provincial legislature for two decades here. His time included the great depression and the second world war. Dealing with local Japanese citizens and coal mine s in the valley.

A graduate of Mcgill University in 1918 he was invited by a director of the Canadian Pacific Railway  to Merritt as a Doctor. He was responsible for a work camp and he ran a nursing school at a Merritt Hospital .

A man in a wheel chair was covered head to toe by a blanket on the sidewalk during the December cold spell, when approached he said nothing a neighbor said his name is JJ and I some people left him there, ” I called the police” . The man then came alive and said ” leave me alone”. The police later were seen talking to him and it was resolved somehow.

Gillis was also the local coroner. He passed from this life in 1965: source

If the ghost of  Dr. JJ Gillis visited and I was him I would say leave me alone.

RIP DR.Gillis

On this Day: January 24th 1972

Sgt .Shoichi Yokoi of the Imperial Japanese Army is found  hiding in the Jungle since war end in 1945.

Despite hiding for twenty-eight years in an underground jungle cave, he had known since 1952 that World War II had ended.[5][6] He feared to come out of hiding, explaining, “We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to the disgrace of getting captured alive.”[1][5]
Yokoi was the third-to-last Japanese soldier to surrender after the war, preceding Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda (relieved from duty by his former commanding officer on 9 March 1974) and Private Teruo Nakamura (arrested 18 December 1974). source: Wikipedia

Hydro rates

Freen energy project has address. Photo KDG

A Green Energy project has an address. This site is an” IPP” independent power producer.
 File: Photo KDG

Smart meters give the ability to monitor your power consumption on line.  Rates are the same all day and the dream of off peak time is not here yet. However if an appliance is a big power user there are programs for better and more efficient ones, including are rebates for buying Hydro endorsed Energy Star  brand appliances and a buy back program for working fridges.

Increased supply does not necessarily mean a possibility of better rates as the utility’s charges are commission regulated, but when efficiency is increased the benefit of better rates is to go to BC consumers.

There is also talk of breaks for industrial users. If this concerns you call or email your MLA and say you want the direct benefit of the non profit status of Hydro.

It’s the time of year when many of us face higher bills than usual. If a spike in your electricity bill has you wondering whether our rates are the cause, be sure to take a look at how our rates compare across North America. One way to keep a handle on your bills is to monitor your electricity use online – hear how it works. We also share some incredible photos of what’s happening underground at the John Hart Generating Station. And in northern B.C., a look at the new First Nations gallery taking shape at the W.A.C. Bennett Dam visitor centre. Source BC Hydro Power Smart…

IPP’s ( Independent Power Producers) give an opportunity to sell at peak times at a higher rate. If this happens then it may be that the off peak rate may be perverted  however if users use the smart meter to advantage it could be a benefit to us all.

We are a mixed economy meaning that capitalism is not the only player in the system and basic utilities, and water are monopolies to the benefit of the society and as well as the industrial base. Profit should be  only a small part of that . Anyway you are empowered by technology to monitor your usage and adapt it by your smart meter.

Publishers notice: Found a fit bit device, email us at:…. with a description.

On this day: February 4rth 2004
Facebook is founded.

The Nicola Naturalists are having their January presentation meeting on the 21st of the month. Frank Ritcey of Wild Safe BC will talk about safety about wildlife and in particular bears.

Frank Ritcey is the Provincial Coordinator for WildSafeBC, based in Kamloops. Run by the BC Conservation Foundation this program focuses on how we can minimize our impact on the wildlife we observe and keep ourselves safe at the same time. Frank was raised in the wilds of Wells Gray Park by his pioneering mother, Clara Ritcey, and Park Biologist father Ralph Ritcey. Frank’s love of nature has been with him his whole life and he still spends much time filming and studying nature. Frank often contributes to CBC’s popular North by Northwest show.

The meeting starts at 7PM and is open to the public (membership or donation requested) , no food or drinks allowed in the NVIT lecture theater, however there is free parking. NVIT is a local community college founded in part by Grand Chief  Gordon Antoine ( deceased) , Gordon was a member of the Coldwater Indian Band and promoted education for his people, he is survived by his wife Janice a principal of the Coldwater Indian Band K -12 school.

The Nicola Naturalists use the lecture theater at NVIT as a non profit and provide a bursary to natural resource students as a matter of consideration for its use.

On this day: January 12th 1959

The Caves of Nerja are rediscovered.





Tom Sullivan (left) and Alan Burger ready for his presentation


Doctor Tom Sullivan presented at the Nicola Naturalists last week on the work he has done with wood debris from logging operations.The University of BC professor and resident of the interior Town of Summerland said that piles of wood waste can be habitat for weasels and small forest animals. The slide show gave images of wood debris used to in strategies to connect habitat to mandatory patch’s of left forest in clear-cut operations. He had brochures available taken from his published works in scientific journals.

Tom noted it is best used to do these piles in remote logged areas as human access lends its self to them being set on fire.

There was a class of natural resource teck students from the First Nations run community college NVIT in the  audience and were introduced to the gathering by Nicola Naturalists President Alan Burger. They were said to be possible beneficiaries of the 600 dollar scholarship award just created by the group.

Pious Chong was also recognised  by Burger for his award of “The best artist in Singapore” by the President of Singapore.

DR. Sullivan works through the Applied Mammal Research Institute In Summerland as well as UBC :

Today in history: November 25 th 1940

The De Havilland Mosquito Bomber has its first flight.


Aboriginal Title and the future of British Columbia, October 29th 3 pm to 5 PM:
The NVIT visiting speakers series has three guest speakers coming for a panel discussion on Aboriginal title. Dr. Rosan Danesh, Ba ,LLb, SJD is a lawyer and does conflict resolution, Douglas S. White BA, ID and former chief of the Suneymuxw First Nations near Nanaimo BC, is a graduate of the faculty of law of the University of Victoria, Matthew S. Pasco B.Administration MBA a citizen of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and a member of the Oregon Jack Creek band near Ashcroft BC.
The panel discussion will explore the meaning of the recent Supreme court decision giving title to a BC Band and some of the broader implications for First Nations,Crown governments, industry and individuals:
NVIT is at 4155 Belshaw avenue in Merritt BC , Canada.
Today in history: October 29th 1960

Cassius Clay ( later Mohammed Ali ) wins his first professional prize fight.

The local community college NVIT, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has its welcoming to new students this week. The school has a new sign ,bilingual in English and the local first nations language. The sign says welcome to our territory, its a new sign probably made since the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision saying that limited title to first people’s traditional land still exists were treaties have not been negotiated. Language groups are often associated with land and territory and it has been a comfort for defining people s for ever but it is also been trouble when conflict arrises.
Language and territory has also been a method of separating people and controlling populations under rulers. In this modern age of interaction between populations we hope that this new context leads to better working out of where identity issues lie, commercial interests and access to the world for all people’s not just those that control lands, commerce, and ideas exist.
In reality the Canadian government still has a lot of say in how its citizens act particularly First Nations through the Indian act and charter section 15, the exemption to deals with poverty.
Its time to leave our identities alone and think in terms of mutual respect for all persons.
Today in history: September 5th 1961
The first conference of nonaligned countries is held in Belgrade.

photo: KDG

The sun the source of all energy Photo: KDG

The current monarch of Great Britain just celebrated her 88th birthday, that was the official birthday it is celebrated some months apart from her actual one. Elizabeth the second was born on April 22 1926. She was crowned in 1952 on February 6th. Her ancestor Victoria was monarch for 67 years, she has served 62 years and 4 months to this time making her 93 years old to reach the record of Victoria. She has caught  up to George the 3rd who reigned 3 months short of 60 years  to take the second longest crowned monarch in Great Britain.

The Crown of Great Britain has not got power in Canada any longer, neither do her ministers, the legal governing authority is  the Parliament of Canada, however we are not representative government as the Americans are. Referendums and other actions are not binding on Parliament however the parliament can only last 5 years without a general election by the people. The Queen is still technically the commander in chief of our armed forces through the Governor General, this is ceremonial and not functional as the Chief of the defence staff, usually a military officer, is accountable to the Cabinet for this, which can make decisions according to the laws parliament arms them with.

The whole thing is dependant on people who vote in or out members of parliament. Private business is subject to laws of parliament which include permits and regulations that they seek to have as advantageous as possible to their interests. The invisible hand of market capitalism is less invisible in Canada then in the US.

The public interest is something more directly valued then the trickle down sentiment in the US and the recent letting of permission by the Federal Cabinet for a pipeline in British Columbia has many demands above simple economics here. The 209 conditions are as potent now as they were before the approval. As are the 5 conditions of the province.

A birth right extends to all Canadians with residual benefit to her commonwealth historical links as a trickling effect. We value our resources and expect the spending of them to be responsible and as sustainable as possible. An as the implementation of their use comes about, that they would not be dispersed as a drunken resource binge. That public safety and enjoyment of aesthetics will be as important as wealth creation.

So to those that historically braved the seas and risked life and limb for the future peace and prosperity of nations, such as David Thompson,and Simon Fraser ,we say, good day!

Editors Note: lots of luck and good fortune to the federal MPs in British Columbia

Today in history: June 20th 1837

Queen Victoria  becomes monarch of Great Britain.

Pow wow

School District number 58, that includes Merritt and Princeton is having a pow wow. It is the fourth annual and is at the Bench Elementary School in Merritt.

The host drum is Sage Hills , contacts listed are Yvonne Joe and Arnold Akachuck, Pre registration is required.

The event is on May 28th 2014 from (9:30- 2:30 ) PM

A pow-wow (also powwow, pow wow, pauwau[1] or pau wau[2]) is a gathering of some of North America’s Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning “spiritual leader”. A similar gathering by California Native Peoples usually in the fall is called a Big Time. A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event for Native American/First Nations people to meet and dance, sing, socialize, and honor Native American/First Nations culture. There is generally a dancing competition, often with significant prize money awarded. Pow-wows vary in length from one day session of five to six hours to three days. Major pow-wow or pow-wows called for a special occasion can be up to one week long.

The term also has been used to describe any gathering of Native Americans of any tribe, and as such is occasionally heard in older Western movies. The word has also been used to refer to a meeting, especially a meeting of powerful people such as officers in the military. However, such use is sometimes viewed as disrespectful to Native culture. source :Wilkipedia


Today in History: May 6th 2013

Three Women missing for a decade are found alive in Cleveland Ohio,  they were allegedly confined by Ariel Castro.

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