Williams Lake First Nation is the new name of the former Williams Lake Indian Band located in B.C.’s southern interior says Chief Willie Sellars who was joined with chief administrative officer Aaron Mannella on Monday, June 22. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

New name for First Nations community near Williams Lake

Formerly known as the Williams Lake Indian Band, the name change was unveiled Monday

A B.C. First Nation situated on the south end of Williams Lake has a new name.

The former Williams Lake Indian Band unveiled their new name, Williams Lake First Nation, on Monday at a groundbreaking ceremony for what will be B.C’s first farm-to-gate cannabis cultivation facility.

“We’re really excited,” said chief administrative officer, Aaron Mannella.

“This has actually been sometime in the making.”

Read More: B.C. Interior First Nation breaks ground on farm-to-gate cannabis cultivation facility

The name was legally changed in January but was not immediately divulged to the public to allow some time to get the new branding in place.

Mannella said there were a number of reasons for the name change including the recognition and celebration of their status as a government.

“But I look to our tagline: ‘culturally centered, future focused’ and it perfectly represents that bridge between the past and the future in terms of the community staying close to its roots, protecting and conserving heritage but also looking forward to the future generations of what can be achieved for social and economic benefit for all members of the Williams Lake First Nation,” he added.

Read More: WLIB breaks ground on $8 million-plus administration building construction project

Nearly 150 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake First Nation, Stswecem’c/Xgat’tem First Nation Kukpi7 (Chief) Patrick Harry offered his congratulations.

Before legally changing their name, his community used to be known as Canoe Creek Band.

“It’s a little more fitting I believe,” he said of the new name. “I always looked at ‘Indian Band’ as having a kind of colonial context to it.”

Mannella said the Indian Act is an oppressive document that segregated First Nations peoples in terms of their culture, land base and where they call home.

“As we know the entire region is unceded territory of Secwepemc people, of the Williams Lake First Nation,” he said.

“So in positioning ourselves as an order of government, an Aboriginal government, with constitutionally protected rights we think that in the year 2020 there couldn’t be a more appropriate name than the Williams Lake First Nation.”

(Correction: The distance between Williams Lake First Nation and Stswecem’c/Xgat’tem First Nation is more than 100 kilometres.)

First NationsWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yunesit’in Chief Russell Myers Ross not seeking re-election

Yunesit’in First Nation will have a new leader come Sept. 9

Nominations for Quesnel Business Excellence Awards now open

Awards to be broadcast online Oct. 2, followed by winners parade Oct. 3

First Nations youth get hands on archaeological experience

Delving into the ancient past has inspired the future aspirations of four First Nations youth

Solo exhibition “Pastel Stories” debuts at Quesnel Art Gallery

Marcela Bodorikova showcases experimentation with pastels in gallery’s August exhibition

RANCH MUSINGS: What is a rancher doing writing about pigs in the middle of haying?

Simple, it rained last evening enough so will have to let the hay dry (again).

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read