Telkwa council has decided to acknowledge the Wet’suwet’en territory before meetings begin.
At last week’s regular council meeting, Village staff presented council with some options and wording on how to open meetings with acknowledgment and respect for the territory in which Telkwa sits. The idea for this stems back to a community to community forum the Village hosted in November where councillors, staff and hereditary chiefs attended. After a brief discussion at the last regular council meeting, councillors agreed to try out one option at the next meeting.
The next meeting will start with “We would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Witsuwit’en First Nation.” (sic)
Mayor Darcy Repen also directed staff to look into whether or not the Wet’suwet’en have a flag, and if so, if the Village could fly it.
Bulkley Valley Kinsmen Club
Council also decided at their last meeting to proclaim Feb. 20 as Kinsmen and Kinettes Day along with declaring the week of Feb. 18-24 Kinsmen and Kinettes Week as a celebration of Kinsmen and Kinettes Canada.
The BV Kinsmen Club also requested the use of the community hall, derby grounds and works yard. The club would like to host the first spring truck derby on the weekend of May 5. Council agreed to their request but the club must pay a damage deposit and cleaning fee. (For more on the story see page A11.)
Councillor Annette Morgan brought up the idea of creating a policy that forces groups requesting money or use of Village grounds to bring their requests forward at budget time. She said that would make the process fair for everyone and ensure they get their support, even if council changes after an election.
Morgan, a member of the Kinsmen, made the motion to proclaim Kinsmen and Kinettes Day. Councillor Leroy Dekens is also a member who voted along with the rest of council to make the proclamation.
Council of Forest Industries
Council decided to send a representative to the next BC Council of Forest Industries annual convention. It will be held in Prince George from April 4-6. Coun. Layton thought it was important to send someone because of the recent change of provincial government.
“We need more jobs per cubic metre in this province, not less that helps our citizens, especially in the Northwest and all across B.C. With the new government, this is the time to hammer on them for this. Not only just do it through our MLA but make sure we are hammering them at these events where they can’t brush us off,” he said.
Layton offered to attend and Coun. Morgan offered to go if he couldn’t.
The annual mining conference is coming up in April and will be held in Houston this year. Council felt it was important for as many of them to attend this year as possible. Mayor Repen added he agreed, especially since there is a mine proposal in their backyard. Village staff was directed to look into costs of attending and councillors will check their schedules.
The maintenance of the outdoor ice rinks was also discussed, specifically the upkeep of the Woodland rink. The person that normally maintained it moved away this year and Mayor Repen brought up the idea of getting some organization in place to keep the skaters skating.
“It is absolutely chaos in terms of management, we just don’t have a system,” said Repen.
“Historically, the rinks were just done by someone who picked up the torch and did it. What we are finding out, this is not working out the same way anymore — often because someone wants to pick up the torch and doesn’t know who is holding it — so we need some work on the communication and we have also identified some challenges with equipment.”
Repen also mentioned a list of equipment that would be handy to have nearby as well as a storage shed for it. Councillors were curious about costs and the priorities of the recreation facilities but all recognized how much use the rinks get. Staff will report back at the next meeting with prices and logistics of maintaining the rinks.