Neskonlith knowledge keeper Louis Thomas and Salmon Arm Arts Centre supporter Dolores Mori take time for a chat on March 25, 2022, as Thomas speaks about the significance of the Good Spirit Box which contains digital recordings of Secwépemc creation stories or Chiptekwilah. (File photo)

Neskonlith knowledge keeper Louis Thomas and Salmon Arm Arts Centre supporter Dolores Mori take time for a chat on March 25, 2022, as Thomas speaks about the significance of the Good Spirit Box which contains digital recordings of Secwépemc creation stories or Chiptekwilah. (File photo)

Year in Review: The Shuswap Market looks back at headlines from April 2022

  • Dec. 31, 2022 2:00 p.m.

April

Jim Cooperman is a curious man. He is also an author, historian, columnist, environmentalist and avid skier. So when a son’s friend sent him a link to ARCA, an online platform developed by BC Regional Digitalized History, he entered Shuswap into the search bar. To his surprise and delight, a number of photos appeared, most of them belonging to two albums by Erskine Burnett called The Shuswap Country and B.C.’s Inland Empire held by the Enderby and District Museum and Archives. Upon further investigation, Cooperman learned the photos taken in the 1930s and ‘40s were accompanied by “intriguing” text. Cooperman became determined to bring the little known archival scrapbook to today’s public in the form of a book. A neighbour transcribed the original text onto a computer for Cooperman, who wrote an introduction to the book and began the editing process. Salmon Arm artist Otto Pfannschmidt, who is designing the book, rescanned and photoshopped the photos. While he describes the process of producing the book a chore, Cooperman says the effort has been rewarding.

• The home and all the belongings of a Blind Bay mom and her three children went up in smoke on April 5. About 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, the Shuswap Fire Department was paged regarding a residential fire in the 3100 block of Cedar Drive in Blind Bay. When firefighters arrived, the single-family home was already fully engulfed in flames. Laine Cooper, owner of Aria Mei-Spa & Laser Clinic where Pamela Wiegand, the woman whose home burned, is a cosmetic tattoo artist, said Pamela was getting set up for her five-year-old daughter Olive’s birthday party. Olive was at daycare but Pamela, her son Riley, 17, and daughter Cameron, 15, were home. Cooper said the three family members had to leave the house so quickly that wallets, identification and vehicle keys were left behind. While Emergency Social Services provided the family with initial necessities including hotel accommodation for a few days, friends were scrambling to find them a permanent rental home.

• As they have always done, the Chiptekwilah, or Secwépemc creation stories, are travelling by word of mouth, one person to another. This time, however, they’re travelling in the form of digital recordings. The Good Spirit Box was a digital legacy of Secwépemc creation stories. They stem from a collaboration with Neskonlith and Splatsin knowledge keepers, Elders, educators and storytellers, explained the Salmon Arm Arts Centre in a written description of the project.
Two people died in a fire on the Adams Lake band reserve last Friday night. Chase RCMP report that the Adams Lake Fire Department, BC Ambulance Service and RCMP responded to a report of a structure fire about 11:45 p.m., April 8. When emergency crews arrived, the RV trailer was fully engulfed in flames. The Phelps family has announced the passing of Kyle Daniel Phelps, 49, and his partner Nikki Mueller.
• Police were investigating a suspicious death after a person’s body was found in a burned vehicle near Chase. Around 1 p.m., Friday, April 22, Chase RCMP received a complaint about an abandoned, burnt vehicle parked in the area of Skmana Lake and Loakin Bear Creek Road. Investigating officers found a burnt sedan and, inside it, the body of an unknown individual.


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ShuswapYear in Review