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Williams Lake RCMP give gifts to Indigenous elders

By Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/The Williams Lake Tribune

WILLIAMS LAKE – In an effort to spread some holiday cheer, members of the Williams Lake RCMP Indigenous Policing Services delivered gifts to elders before Christmas Day.

“It was good to bring smiles to people’s faces, especially in this part in a difficult season,” said Const. Adam Hildebrandt.

With the addition of a customized card, each gift was individually wrapped by Hildebrandt, Const. Martin Richard, Const. Kevin Neufeld and Cpl. Eric Chrona, before being delivered last week to the Indigenous communities of Sugar Cane, Canoe Creek, Dog Creek, Xat’sull, Deep Creek, and Esk’et.

“When they see two vehicles roll up at their doorstep, there were a few nervous looks because, unfortunately, a lot of the times we’re bringing bad news when we’re coming in pairs,” said Hildebrandt.

“So there was some concern at first, but then as we brought out the gifts, eyes lit up and smiles were brought to their faces.”

The Williams Lake RCMP has community tripartite agreements with the Williams Lake First Nation, Soda Creek Indian Band, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation and Esk’etemc First Nation.

This marks the first holiday season the section has delivered gifts to elders 65 and older.

Hildebrandt said it follows the adopt-an elder initiative, which was organized this year by RCMP Indigenous Policing Services in Lytton.

“I’ve noticed a lot of seniors and elders in the community are taking more precautions and not going out to socialize as much as they normally would,” Const. Seamus O’Connell said in a Gazette magazine article by Travis Roland.

”We wanted to share some positivity and happiness with everyone.”

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