Celebrating second Kelly Lake Days

Kelly Lake Days was held earlier this month to unite community members and celebrate their traditions and culture.
Kelly Lake Days celebration at the Community Centre.

KELLY LAKE, B.C.- Kelly Lake Days was held earlier this month to unite community members and celebrate their traditions and culture.

The two-day event took place from August 5th to August 6th at the Kelly Lake Community Centre and hosted more than 150 people. 

President of Nikihk Management and Community Development Society Michelle Calliou said last year was the first-ever Kelly Lake Days celebration.

Calliou explained that community events were always part of Kelly Lake, but they haven’t held many for several years.

Kelly Lake Community members having a meal together at Kelly Lake Days. (supplied)

“We want to revitalize the culture and language to instill an Indigenous identity in the youth where they feel proud of their Indigenous past and culture,” Calliou. 

Vice president of Nikihk Management Norman Calliou said the purpose of Kelly Lake Days is to reengage with residents to continue developing the community and give them a voice. 

“We need to start looking at infrastructure and also looking at protecting our traditional and aboriginal rights within the surrounding areas,” said Norman.

The society has worked to bring infrastructure and services to the Kelly Lake community and is in the early stage of forming a central government for the small Indigenous community 155 kilometres southeast of Fort St. John. 

According to Dacia Douhaibi, a planning and governance specialist, Kelly Lake Days also allowed the Mamawihatoskehk Working Group to present a report on its work to community members.

The working group will develop the structure and process for creating the governance committee, including establishing the terms of reference and voting process.

According to Statistics Canada, the community had a population of 76 in 2021.

“The exact number is much higher than the records from Statistics Canada.” Douhaibi. 

Douhaibi feels the event also provided the opportunity to highlight the number of members currently living outside the community due to a housing shortage.

Kelly Lake community members are excited to be actively involved in creating a better future for the community. Gladu feels the annual celebration will continue the traditions of respecting and reviving the spiritual experiences of the community. 

Nikihk Management will share more information on this process through community meetings and a Facebook page. 


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