Celebration for First Responders
The June 4th weekend saw about 200 people turn up at the Celebration hosted by the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce in the Park on June 4. The celebration was in recognition of community members who worked and helped during the 2021 fires. I first caught up with a member of the Search and Rescue Team, he was woefully skeptical as to whether “the elephant in the room” would be addressed at the event…
In speaking with the organizer, the invitation process included contacting the leaders of the various organizations to invite the teams to the celebration. They were encouraged to invite former members/volunteers/staff to attend; ie those who had been caught up in the infamous “Hospital and Firehall jab sweeps of 2021”. I contacted 3 people who were caught in those sweeps, none of them were invited or had any idea that the event was occurring. Each of them indicated they don’t bother with Facebook and they don’t bother reading the Free Press anymore. The organizer indicated that upwards of $2000 worth of advertising was spent on Facebook Free Press advertising. The Free Press did run an article about the event ahead of time, but hilariously they ran a hit piece on the day of the event - which made it sound like the Mayor shuttled people from the parking lot to the stage- what actually happened? Not much, the golf cart broke down. Okay okay enough jokes it was pretty classic Mayor of 100 Mile stuff though.
Chief Helen gave a very healing introduction and opening at the event. She welcomed everyone very clearly as “friends, neighbors and allies”. She also cut square to the point in her acknowledgement of how difficult it has been to remain connected over the past few years. Being connected is the foundational meaning of being Secwepmc, the word itself meaning “the people”. Her words were a delight and a highlight to be certain. She included the unveiling of a reclamation of the name of the people/Secwepmc of this land - Tsq’escenemc (tsch-ketch-kin). She explained that Tsq’escenemc hold up their hands to the relationship they share with their neighbors. She welcomed everyone into Tsq’escenemc First Nation, and told us that everyone is welcome! That is happening on Indigenous Day- 06/21/2022. She also enlightened many in the audience as to the true name of the location folks were enjoying, Cpelmetkwe meaning “underground springs” - is the traditional reference about the area of the Village now known as 100 Mile House. After speaking with lots of people, a heart warming story emerged. A Fire Fighter from one of the 4 CRD halls which didn’t have a team join the celebrations (Interlakes x2, Deka Lake, Forest Grove, Lone Butte) was the only member of his team to turn up. He showed up of his own volition, despite being disenfranchised from his team by the absurd policy of the Cariboo Regional District. With grace, he took the stage and accepted the award despite the fact that not once was there any acknowledgement of the Fire Hall Sweep of 2021 at the event. Notably, there were no nurses or hospital staff recognized at the event despite the fact that government officials needlessly evacuated the hospital during the 2021 fires, leading to the death of at least one woman- who’s story we hope tell in a future article of the Village Voice. Nevermind the fact that the Hospital also engaged in the Hospital Sweep of 2021 which caused many to not be able to work there, and further taxing the other hospital workers in a system where staff is already on the brink. The music was great, the burgers were tasty, the volunteers were smiling. It had all of the trappings of being a “back to the regular old normal” event, except for that darn elephant hiding under the rug. The Colonial Slug! The slug that will never become a butterfly, despite all of its claims that it IS becoming a butterfly... check out episode 22 of Cameo Radio to learn more about the Colonial Slug. The caterpillar people will inevitably continue to form their chrysalis’ emerging as butterflies ready to live out the New Renaissance. The colonial slug will remain a slug. Please, please don’t feed the slug!
All in all, it was a “nice”, but super awkward situation, overall. All that has been swept under the rug by the Colonial Slug went formally un-noticed, it was registered among the butterflies.
And what do they say about the butterfly effect? A tiny perturbation in the initial condition can change can result in large changes in later conditions.
Kukwstép-kucw, thank-you to Chief Helen, for speaking First at this event! The most ancient and true understanding of law is that it is Oral, “the universe is spoken into existence“.
Her words will inevitably change everything for the better.