Media Update on Anahim Lake Events: Families and Chiefs Ask for Media Privacy While Healing

For Immediate Release

COAST SALISH TERRITORY - The Ulkatcho and Nuxalk Nation communities affected by the Dec. 26 events in Anahim Lake have begun their healing journey and community leadership are asking on behalf of the families that local media give the utmost respect for their privacy in this time of grieving. Family members and local Chiefs continue to focus their energies on community priorities related to supporting the families impacted and at this time will not be speaking with media.

“The Ulkatcho and Nuxalk Nations are working together to heal from this tragic event. We are asking media to respect our wishes for privacy and space in this time of healing,” said Ulkatcho Nation Chief Zach Parker. “We are thankful for our strong partnerships and all those who have supported us, and hope to share our story with other Nations on the path of healing from events like this in the future.”

Crisis response to this event has been swift bringing together community leadership and health liaisons, staff from Interior Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, First Nations Emergency Services, Provincial Health Services Authority’s BC Provincial Emergency Disaster Psychosocial Program, and RCMP Victim Services to ensure public safety and counseling services are available at the community level. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) Crisis Response Protocol and mental health service coordination were enacted quickly on the ground in both communities soon after the event.

“Our hearts are with the Ulkatcho and Nuxalk communities,” said Dr. Evan Adams, Chief Medical Officer with the First Nations Health Authority. “When events like this happen, all families are impacted, and we are eager to help as best we can over the coming while.”

Both communities have shown their strength and resilience in coming together to support one another during this time. Leadership are unified in supporting their communities’ mental wellness and focusing on creating positive outcomes for healthy and safe communities. The FNHA would like to thank community leadership and local health staff, Elders and traditional healers, regional health authority and RCMP partners for their engagement and involvement in supporting those affected in recovery after this event. The FNHA will be fielding media enquiries related to this event on behalf of community leadership.

Media Contact:
Trevor Kehoe
Communications Officer and Media Relations
First Nations Health Authority