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Toosey Old School Wood Products – Building blocks for the future

Toosey Old School Wood Products – Building blocks for the future

By Sage Birchwater – Something exciting is going on at the former Riske Creek Elementary School. Toosey Old School Wood Products is laying the foundation for a brighter future for local First Nations. Riske Creek Elementary School on Stack Valley Road was constructed in 1976 and ran for 30 years before the school district shut […]

Every Day is Aboriginal Day

Every Day is Aboriginal Day

By Sage Birchwater – Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but the 26th day of the month is significant in the historical narrative of the Tŝilhqot’in nation. It began on October 26, 1864 when five Tsilhqot’in war chiefs were hanged at Quesnelle mouth on the banks of the Fraser River. The warriors led by Chief Lha […]

Tsilhqot’in War Chiefs Exonerated

Tsilhqot’in War Chiefs Exonerated

By Sage Birchwater – History was made on March 26, 2018 in the House of Commons in Ottawa when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exonerated six Tŝilhqot’in war chiefs who were hanged in 1864 and 1865. It was a long time coming. Nearly 154 years ago British Columbia colonial forces freewheeled into the Chilcotin and tricked […]

Book Review: Chilcotin Chronicles – Author brings history of Chilcotin to print

Book Review: Chilcotin Chronicles – Author brings history of Chilcotin to print

With files from Parker Crook, Vernon Morning Star, Originally published Dec 3, 2017. It’s a history that has been passed from generation to generation through spoken word. But, after years of research and transcribing, Sage Birchwater transferred that oral history of the Central Interior into the written word in his 2017 book, Chilcotin Chronicles: Stories […]

Elders Circle of Care – A Lifeline of Support

Elders Circle of Care – A Lifeline of Support

By Sage Birchwater – Most people in Williams Lake are probably unaware of the wide range of services provided by the Cariboo Friendship Society. Executive director Rosanna McGregor and social programs supervisor Tamara Garreau describe some of the work they do. “Our primary function is to provide support services for urban Aboriginal people,” says McGregor. […]

Rail Ties Be Wise continues to fight  rail tie burning proposal in Williams Lake

Rail Ties Be Wise continues to fight rail tie burning proposal in Williams Lake

By Sage Birchwater – A group of Williams Lake residents is continuing the fight to prevent Atlantic Power Corporation from burning railway ties in its 600,000-tonne capacity biomass-fuelled energy plant in Williams Lake. Since the Boston-based Atlantic Power Corporation announced its intention in June 2015 to seek permission from the British Columbia government for a […]

Opinion: Don’t Let the Smoke Cloud your Thinking for a Clean Future

Opinion: Don’t Let the Smoke Cloud your Thinking for a Clean Future

By Sage Birchwater – Clean air is a gift we have to stand up for and protect. It’s not something we can take for granted. For those of us involved in the Rail Ties Be Wise campaign, the horrendous wildfire season of 2017 has steeled our resolve to protect our air quality. For long stretches […]

OPINION | On Voting for Change

OPINION | On Voting for Change

By Sage Birchwater — For many of us, the October 19 Canadian federal election was all about voting for change—to get rid of Stephen Harper. We took a lot of flak for this because our critics felt our stance was too negative. They argued we should be voting FOR something, not against someone. That may […]

FIRST NATIONS | Crazy Horse Energy Drink: Developed and owned by Alexis Creek First Nation

FIRST NATIONS | Crazy Horse Energy Drink: Developed and owned by Alexis Creek First Nation

By Sage Birchwater — Tall red cans in gasbars and retail outlets across the Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast and throughout the BC Interior promise you a refreshing, energetic pick-me-up on a hot day. Crazy Horse energy drink, emblazoned with the words “Go Wild! Go West!” and the image of a horse with a backdrop of mountains, resonates […]

INDUSTRY | Atlantic Power Seeks 10-Year Contract Extension with BC Hydro

INDUSTRY | Atlantic Power Seeks 10-Year Contract Extension with BC Hydro

By Sage Birchwater — Atlantic Power Corporation, owner of the biomass-fuelled electricity generation plant in Williams Lake, wants to burn old railway ties to fuel its 66-megawatt facility. The plant, which can burn up to 600,000 tons of wood fibre per year, has been in operation since 1993 on the strength of a 25-year energy […]

INDUSTRY | Water – The Heart of the Problem at Mount Polley Mine

INDUSTRY | Water – The Heart of the Problem at Mount Polley Mine

By Sage Birchwater —   The Mount Polley Mine breach that sent 25 million tons of mine waste down nine kilometres of Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake last August 4, has garnered international attention. On May 6,a 10-person delegation from Alaska, including Aboriginal leaders, non-governmental organization reps, and the State’s Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott, […]

ARTS & CULTURE | For Whom the Drum Tolls: Brent Morton inspires a generation

ARTS & CULTURE | For Whom the Drum Tolls: Brent Morton inspires a generation

By Sage Birchwater — Nobody fills a room quite like Brent Morton. Few musicians touch the heart of culture and the urgency of our times as deeply and vividly as he does. Since arriving in Williams Lake from his hometown of Saskatoon in 2007, Morton has fashioned a vast musical legacy. His powerful voice and […]

INDUSTRY | MOUNT POLLEY UPDATE: Eight Months Later

INDUSTRY | MOUNT POLLEY UPDATE: Eight Months Later

By Sage Birchwater — It’s been eight months since the August 4 breach of Mount Polley Mine’s tailings storage facility (TSF) spilled 25 million cubic metres of mining effluent and scour material into the pristine waters of Quesnel Lake. The volume of the spill was so significant that it caused the level of the 266-square-kilometre […]

ARTS & CULTURE | “Lived Experience” Literary Journal – A Legacy to Culture

ARTS & CULTURE | “Lived Experience” Literary Journal – A Legacy to Culture

By Sage Birchwater — Shortly before Christmas, 2014, Van Andruss released the latest volume of his annual literary magazine, Lived Experience Number Fourteen, Stories and Poety from BC and Beyond. When the journal had its beginnings in 2001, it was only 28 pages and contained the prose and poetry of 11 writers. Fourteen years later, […]

NEWS IN REVIEW| Mount Polley Mine Update

NEWS IN REVIEW| Mount Polley Mine Update

By Sage Birchwater — The water flowing out of Quesnel Lake under the bridge at Likely is murky six months after the Mount Polley Mine disaster sent millions of tons of mining effluent down Hazeltine Creek and into Quesnel Lake on August 4, 2014. Historically, the water in Quesnel River is clear at this time […]

NEWS IN REVIEW | FIRST NATIONS | 2014 – A Year of Change for First Nations and All Canadians

NEWS IN REVIEW | FIRST NATIONS | 2014 – A Year of Change for First Nations and All Canadians

  By Sage Birchwater — It’s hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, but in a decade or two, or maybe some time in the next century, we’ll look back on 2014 as the year Canada finally came of age. The year Canada finally did the right thing by First Nations. The June […]

CONSERVATION | The Poet Place in the Klinaklini Valley Expands Nature Conservancy Footprint

CONSERVATION | The Poet Place in the Klinaklini Valley Expands Nature Conservancy Footprint

By Sage Birchwater — Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) made a key acquisition in the Chilcotin this spring, with the purchase of the picturesque 470-acre Poet Place in the Klinaklini Valley. The property, located 250 km west of Williams Lake and a dozen kilometres down the Klinaklini Valley from Highway 20, is book-ended by two […]

NEWS IN REVIEW | INDUSTRY | Mount Polley: Two months later

NEWS IN REVIEW | INDUSTRY | Mount Polley: Two months later

By Sage Birchwater — It’s been a long two months since August 4 when a breach of Mount Polley Mine’s tailings storage facility near Likely dumped 17 million cubic meters of effluent and eight million cubic meters of mine tailings solids into the pristine, salmon-bearing waters of Quesnel Lake. In a matter of hours one […]

NEWS IN REVIEW | INDUSTRY | Mt. Polley Mine Disaster: More Questions than Answers

NEWS IN REVIEW | INDUSTRY | Mt. Polley Mine Disaster: More Questions than Answers

By Sage Birchwater — There are more questions than answers concerning the August 4 breach of Mount Polley Mine’s tailings facility near Likely, BC. It’s being called the single worst environmental disaster in British Columbia’s history. And that’s before all the details are in. The full impact of millions of tons of toxic mining waste […]

FEATURED GREEN BUSINESS | LOCAL FOODS | Working Partners at Bella Coola Seafoods add Value to Local Fish

FEATURED GREEN BUSINESS | LOCAL FOODS | Working Partners at Bella Coola Seafoods add Value to Local Fish

By Sage Birchwater — Tucked away in the specialty fish section of Margetts Meats in Williams Lake are the delectable salmon products of Bella Coola Seafoods. One taste of half-smoked spring salmon fillets will have you hooked. However, the other products like regular spring or chum fillets and steaks or ready-to-eat hot-smoked salmon will have […]