Valard Sponsors Youth Easter Festivities in Slate Falls Nation
Prior to the Easter long weekend, Valard sponsored and delivered 75 Easter egg baskets for the Slate Falls Nation youth, as well as, hosted a community Easter egg hunt providing 750 eggs filled with prizes and Easter candies. The joint efforts were coordinated by the Valard Community Liaison for Slate Falls Nation, Clarence Auger, Valard Indigenous Relations Randall Couchouchene and Chief and Council for the Nation including Chief Lorraine Crane, Head Councillor Arlene Bearman and Interim Councillor Cassandra Loon.
Valard is working on the Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project that is bringing grid connection to 17 remote communities. This has numerous benefits to all 24 partner communities leading this project, in partnership with Fortis Inc. Valard also has a camp 40km south of Slate Falls Nation, and understands the importance of respectful Indigenous engagement with the local first Nation communities it impacts. Presently, many of the community’s members are working directly on the project in various positions as well as, working at the nearby Valard camps. Throughout Valard’s work nearby Slate Falls Nation they have actively promoted community engagement by offering training to local members, the hiring of members, supporting local economic development and contractor opportunities as well as, sponsored other community events such as gifting Christmas hams to households in the community, in addition to the recent Easter Egg Hunt for the Nation’s children.
Chief Lorraine Crane understands the importance of fostering mutually beneficial partnerships in order to ensure there is respectful engagement with the community as well as, benefits for all members. “Our community has realized the importance of supporting the Watay transmission line project, and it (is) our hopes that the other communities will benefit from the hydro grid as well. Our community is aware of the hardships of having no hydro, and even though Slate Falls is fortunate to have access to the grid, we still do have our own hardships with hydro. With the Watay Transmission Project underway we look forward to the other communities in the north gaining access to hydro, especially the communities still using diesel to fuel their hydro needs. Slate Falls Nation has worked well Valard during its time near the community, and it has been a different, yet positive experience.”
Interim Band Councillor