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First ever Witsuwit’en Christmas fair this Saturday

A portion of the proceeds from the fair will go towards helping youth.

Moricetown is hosting their first Witsuwit’en annual christmas craft and artisan fair this Saturday at the Dze L K’Ant Friendship Centre Hall.

“I discovered that there were all these amazing artists that no one had ever heard of,” said Norma Stumborg, community economic development coordinator for Witset (Moricetown).

“This is a way to promote our culture and our local artisans and crafters.”

Mother-daughter combo Mabel and Melanie Forsythe will their sell crafts at the fair in hopes of raising money for their court case.

“We’ve been in a three year battle with the ‘Ksan Association in court,” said Melanie Forsythe. “We’ve been trying to find other places to sell our craft as a result so this is the first time it’s been held and we’re going to give it a try.”

The case is ongoing. Melanie said they have a court date with the B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers on Dec. 15.

Stumborg said they decided to have the fair in Smithers because they wanted to focus on the region and because of the large Wet’suwet’en population in town.

Crafts, toys, clothing, moccasins, jewelry and artwork from local Gitxsan, Haida and Musqueam artists will also be sold at the fair.

There will also be a table set up to sell backpacks, jewelry, mugs, coasters, playing cards, toys and more from Native Northwest, an Indigenous clothing and crafts company based within Musqueam (Coast Salish) territory in Vancouver.

The money made from the Native Northwest table will go towards helping Indigenous artists as well as youth and education, and community health and conservation.

Grades 5 to 7 children from Moricetown Elementary School will have a bake sale at the fair to raise money for a field trip.

There will be free bus rides sponsored by the Canadian Economic Development Department into Smithers from Moricetown, as well as a ride back. The bus will depart Moricetown at 8:30 a.m. from the Esso bus stop and will leave the Friendship Centre at 4 p.m. and drop them off at the Esso bus stop.

“We’re bringing all the community members in town for a day of Christmas shopping,” Stumborg said. “Everyone that wants to go to town for Christmas shopping will be able to get free rides into Smithers and back.”