From left, Correen Genshorek, executive administrator with Habitat for Humanity Kamloops; Rex Landis, procurement & donations coordinator for Habitat; homeowner Dustin Willard; homeowner Tara Willard; and Scott Lukianchuk, construction manager. (Photo contributed)

Habitat for Humanity helps Sepwepemc families build houses near Chase

Homes intended for current families and generations to come

Two Secwepemc families are looking forward to new housing, thanks to Habitat for Humanity Kamloops.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held last month on Secwepemc land near Chase for the homes of the Willard families, members of the Neskonlith band.

A news release states that brother and sister Mike and Joyce Willard were raised by their grandparents along the shores of the South Thompson River, near Chase.

“Their grandparents were pillars in the community, as far as culture and spirituality, as well as continuing to pass on Secwepemc language to the children in the community,” states the release, going on to say that when Mike married his spouse Kelli, they resided with his grandparents Isaac and Adeline Willard.

When Kelli gave birth to their first daughter Tara, it was time to branch out on their own. Around this time, land was given to the young couple and it became their family lands where their children and grandchildren could settle and build their own family history.

“Fast forward to today,” states the release. “Habitat Kamloops will work with and help to build two affordable homes for two of Mike and Kelli’s grown children and their families.

“Tara Willard and her four children, as well as her brother Dustin Willard, his wife Sara and their two children are very excited to have this opportunity to be homeowners on their family land.”

Read more: Frustration and hope at Okanagan Habitat for Humanity event

Read more: Rust Valley Restorers’ classic Camaro to be won in fundraiser

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, the families gathered with Habitat Kamloops to do a ground-breaking ceremony that included Indigenous tradition.

“The families made a sacred fire for warmth as well as representation of the work that would be done in the coming months. They talked briefly about their appreciation for their ancestors and the land itself. It was important to the families to make a food, water and tobacco offering to the land and fire. This offering, they explained, was to give thanks as well as honour their traditions as Indigenous people in their lands. After sharing some words of gratitude, two of the children spoke and offered a prayer in their Secwepemctsin language with their grandparents. A hand drum song was then sung by Tara and the ground was officially broken with Habitat Kamloops’ golden shovels,” states the news release.

Remarked Tara: “We are excited to be working closely with Habitat Kamloops to build homes for our current families & for many generations to come within our community and on our family lands.”

Funding includes grants and nominal mortgage financing, combined with 500 hours of sweat equity from the families.

To find out more about how Habitat for Humanity Kamloops helps build attainable housing for families, veterans and seniors in the region, visit the website at habitatkamloops.com.



marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Knights of Columbus step up for Shuswap community groups

Organizations from Shuswap, Thompson regions receive $15,000

Silverbacks forward receives BCHL Community Hero Award

Award presentation for Coalson Wolford to take place Sunday, Feb. 23

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

Trail to remain closed until recommended works completed

Shuswap blockade temporarily lifted following negotiation with CP Rail

Onus placed on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respond

A piece of Shuswap paradise could be yours for just $5.5 million

Waterfront listing in Blind Bay appears to have reached the pinnacle of pricing in region

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Gas drops below a dollar per litre in Penticton

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Pawsative Pups: You have a new puppy, now what?

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Sewer service planned for South Okanagan community of Kaleden

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen plans to extend Okanagan Falls system into Kaleden

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read