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Table of Contents


Please select from the headings below to read articles in any section,

or feel free to scroll down at your leisure to access each article as it appears. 


Welcome Message

To the Malsgm Sa'winsk

Greetings Subscribers!

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2022 Edition of the NIFCS Malsgm Sa'winsk (Newspaper).


This bumper edition highlights various community activities that took place throughout the third and fourth quarter of the year. You will find updates about the Youth Empowerment Program, NIFCS services, Lighthouse construction, fun and engaging activities with prizes to be won, and explore a variety of other useful content - from health and wellbeing to book reviews - and much, much more!  

We would love to hear any ideas for stories, community events and other newsworthy activities that you may wish to share. 

Please click HERE to send us your stories, suggestions and feedback.

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season!

Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight


A Kaleidoscope of Children & Youth Participating in the Cultural Values/Virtues

Portion of the Youth Empowerment Program

Having launched the Youth Empowerment Program proper in the first quarter of 2022, we are excited to inform you that one of the foundational activities of the program, i.e. Virtues (Spirit Gifts) Sessions for children and youth is now being carried out at each of our participating member nations by your respective Youth Empowerment Worker.

Cultural Values & Virtues activities are fun and engaging avenues to promote mindful practice of Virtues in children and youth. It begins with the knowledge that each child/youth has the potential to identify, demonstrate and celebrate Virtues in their own lives and that of others. In honoring themselves and others by speaking the language of Virtues and practicing them, the individual’s inner voice (spirit/conscience) is nourished, leading to their ability to make better choices/decisions in their life journey. Through collaboration, this program is designed to complement activities with similar goals that are being facilitated by the communities.

These classes are scheduled weekly at the community Lighthouse for the following age groups:

4 - 6 (started); 7-10 (started), 11 -15 (started); 16 -21 (coming soon).

There are three age-appropriate components that encourage children and youth to explore 

Virtues in a fun, practical and meaningful way:

1. Knowledge; 2. Creative; 3. Active (service to community)

Here are images from these activities in the communities:



Kitsumkalum and Kitselas Lighthouses Receive Blessings at Ceremonies

The Lighthouse is a space where community members can find resources, support and accompaniment for their journey towards a healthier future. It is a facility made possible by the collaborative efforts of NIFCS, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the community. It acts as the hub for all NIFCS services with focus on the Youth Empowerment Program and for community engagement and gatherings. The Lighthouse symbolizes strength, resilience and reliability. It stands unwavering, shining its bright light to serve as a steady pillar of reassurance to the people. 


We have now completed construction/renovations for five Lighthouses with one more nearing completion and earthworks for the final (7th) building expected to begin in September/October 2022. As we prepare for the official opening celebrations for these spaces, we are happy to announce that two of these Lighthouses held ceremonies for blessings, safety and wellbeing of all of who use these buildings, i.e. Kitsumkalum and Kitselas. 

Here is a video montage of the ceremonies:

National Indigenous Day Celebration 

The National Indigenous Day this year was celebrated with dozens of community members and children

participating in drumming, singing, creative cultural activities, barbeques, good food and in great company.

Here is a brief video from this event in Kitselas.

Bill C-92 Information Sheet 

NIFCS' goal is to support our communities in the ongoing dialogue on the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families. With the CWJI Program Funding, NIFCS has contracted Community Liaison Officers from July 11, 2022 to September 30, 2022 to increase engagement, provide more awareness of Bill C-92 as well as gather input and feedback. Please click on the 'Download' button below if you wish to save this document into your device.

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Staff Spotlight

NIFCS Staff Spotlight

Colin Angus
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick:​

My name is Colin Angus, I am a part of the Killer Whale tribe. I come from the house of ‘Wiitalii, from the village of Kitkatla. I currently live in Prince Rupert.

What is your role at NIFCS?

I am the Youth Empowerment Program Team Leader for the four coastal member bands of Metlakatla, Lax Kw'alaams, Hartley Bay and Kitkatla.

What was your very first job (In general)?

My first job was delivering newspapers in my home community of Kitkatla for the Daily News.


Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

I joined NIFCS in 2019 as a Youth Empowerment Worker stationed in Kitkatla. Earlier this year I saw the posting for the Team Leader position and applied for it. I am fortunate to have successfully obtained the job.

What is your favorite Dinosaur?

Velociraptor, as it is a very smart fast dinosaur.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

To be honest, it is loud chewing! ha-ha

Most memorable moment from 2021?

Getting out on the ocean of my home territory Kitkatla and harvesting all types of traditional food with family and friends.

What is your favorite chocolate bar?

My mother and I share the same favorite chocolate: "Turtles”.

Do you have a favorite song?

I listen to far too much music to pick one favorite song!

If you had an extra $200 to spend on anything, what would you buy?

$200 in lottery tickets!

Do you have any words of wisdom to offer youth who may be considering your profession?

See the big picture in your life, set individual goals to work your way up. Each step forward will be an accomplishment towards that BIG PICTURE. 😊


Are you a cat, dog, or bird person?

I am a dog person, unfortunately had to rehome my Pitbull when I relocated to Prince Rupert for my role as administrative assistant.


If you could pick your birthday dinner, what would you chose?

I always enjoyed my turkey dinner with my family on Christmas day, as that is my birthday as well.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

Getting the food, I plan to harvest, being out on the ocean is my most favorite relaxing activity to do.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I am most grateful for my family and friends. As they are the ones who always support me.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

I would like to be able to see where the fish are Ha-ha

What is your most treasured memory?

Treasured memory is being able to preserve traditional food with both my mother Charlotte Brown, and grandmother Marjorie Brown.

Terrance Sankey
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick.

My traditional name is ‘Agwil Ba’asskw’ which translates, “Wind”.  My ancestral cultural background hails from Nisga’a Nation on my mother’s side, from the village of Gingolx, one of four villages that make up Nisga’a Nation and Tsimshian Nation from the village of Lax kw’alaams, on my father’s side.

What is your role at NIFCS?

I am an Indigenous generalist social worker with NIFCS that serves the North Coast communities.  As an Indigenous male in the social work field, my personal upbringing, experiences, and hardships paved a path for me to work in the helping field. My parents, grand-parents, great grand parents all attended ‘Residential school’.  Today, I continue to strive and reconnect my personal values such as: love, empathy, courage, wisdom, truth, respect, honesty, and humility that shape who we are. 

What was your very first job (In general)?

My first job in general at the age of fourteen would be dishwasher at a local restaurant in Prince Rupert. (This is reason I do not like washing dishes today…lol). 

Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

In 2021, we decided that it is time to move back to our home community in Prince Rupert B.C.  My wife and I lived in Vancouver B.C. for the past eighteen years.  I graduated in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) in Child Welfare Specialization, from Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). My experience began with Xyolhemeylh (FVACFSS) as a practicum student for child investigation team. I was later hired as a traditional family practice facilitator for the Collaborative Practice team. And, eventually hired as a float social worker.  In August 2017, I was hired with Vancouver Aboriginal Child & Family Services Society-VACFSS, as a Family Preservation Counsellor for three and a half years. In November 2019, I went back to Child Protection Intake with VACFSS to April 14th, 2021.

What is your favorite Dinosaur?

Good question….my favorite dinosaur would be the ‘Brontosaurus’.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

The biggest pet peeve would have to be ‘no one washes their hands after eating’ and then touches everything else.


Most memorable moment from 2021?

My most memorable moment in 2021 is moving back home to Prince Rupert.

What is your favorite chocolate bar?

It would be ‘Crunch”.

If you had an extra $200 to spend on anything, what would you buy?

I would probably spend the money on buying movies or video games.

Do you have any words of wisdom to offer youth who may be considering your profession?

All youth have the knowledge and experience to consider the social work field path…the youth would be and can be great advocates for themselves and others and eventually mentors in the field of social work.

Are you a cat, dog, or bird person?

I am neither… one time we used to have a cat and had to give him up and due to the attachment we had with ‘Indy’ at the time…we would or could not care for any other pet after him.

If you could pick your birthday dinner, what would you chose?

I would pick a sushi dinner for my birthday dinner….

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

There would have to be two dinner guests….it would be selfish of me to have one and after all when married everything is in two’s…with that been said the guests would be “Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa”.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

A perfect day for me would be during the fall season…and it would involve good food... and good movies at home.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I am grateful for all in my life that has led me to this journey in my life both personally and professionally.  I am grateful for my children, grandchildren, friends and family.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

I am always waking up to be a better person than I was yesterday.

What is your most treasured memory?

Good question…there is quite a few memories and it would be unfair to pick one….



NIFCS Leadership Development Program (LDP)

The NIFCS Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a year long endeavor that began in Q1 of 2022 and is scheduled to be completed at the end of Q1, 2023. This program is designed for those currently in leadership and/or supervisory position. However, each employee who reports to them, or are their peers, or supervisors, will play an important role by providing valuable feedback periodically to offer meaningful milestones for the participants’ journey to build capacity for exemplary leadership

The NIFCS LDP uses the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model by world-renowned researchers and authors/coaches James Kouzes and Barry Posner. The following paragraph from their website provides a brief insight into the program: Leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior - an observable set of skills and abilities. When the co-authors of The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, first set out to discover what effective leaders do when they’re at their personal best, they collected thousands of stories from ordinary people - the moments they recalled when asked to think of a peak leadership experience. Despite differences in culture, gender, age, and other variables, these “personal best” stories revealed similar patterns of behavior The authors discovered that when leaders experience their personal best, they display five core practices: Jim and Barry called these behaviors The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership ®


Prince Rupert Team Day visit to a Ghost Town!

The NIFCS staff in Prince Rupert organized a team day adventure to visit the Ghost Town in Kitsault on June 23, 2022, and experienced the tour first hand. Here are a few pictures from their courageous trip!

Culture & History


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Wisdom from our Elders

Gloria Russell and Harvey Russell Sr. from Lax Kw'alaams Share their Knowledge

and Extensive Experience in Net Mending. 

FunTastic Activities




Love crossword puzzles?

Our puzzle specialist Ocean Georgelin has created

a new puzzle in Sm’algyax for the

summer edition of our newsletter!

Are you up for a challenge?

Click below for this fun and delightful puzzle.



There is a SECRET WORD

concealed within this newsletter.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it,

is to put on your Sherlock hat and find it!


In the box below you will find pointers & clues:

(pointers tell you where to go; clues tell you where to find each letter)

There are 4 letters in the Secret Word.

When you combine them according to the

sequence below, you will uncover the Secret Word.


Submit your Secret Word and enter the

$100 Gift Card Draw!

THREE winners will be drawn from the pool of correct submissions. Simply email your answer to: 

by September 10 2022




01. Pointer -> Staff Spotlight Clue: The 1st letter of the Last Name (Traditional Name of this NIFCS staff).

02. Pointer -> New Transport Clue: This letter (vowel) appears 3 times in the Title of the Section about the boat.

03. Pointer -> Boo! Clue: The 5th letter in the name of the Ghost Town that NIFCS staff visited on Team Day.

04. Pointer -> Seaweed! Clue: Last letter in the family name of the contributors of the Seaweed Harvesting story.



Winners of the Spring 2022 Edition SECRET WORD CONTEST

Jodie Dudoward

Miriam Windsor

Relishous Recipes



In this edition, we have a wonderful picture-story about harvesting seaweed, instead of a recipe. Hope you enjoy this story by Sharon and Emily Bryant. We will get back to yummy recipes in the Fall edition of the newsletter!


Ła’ask (Seaweed)

Ła’ask is picked in the month of May 😊Our family travels together to harvest our Ła’ask out at Boat Harbour and live in this amapasm waap (beautiful house)


Once we are back at camp and if the sun is out, even if it is a little bit cloudy, we put out our fresh picked seaweed on the rocks on a small island across from our camp.  Each of the families that live at Boat harbour have their own area of rocks that we use to basax (spread out) the Ła’ask (seaweed)


We travel out to pick our Ła’ask before low tide; we all gather onto our captain’s boat, MV “Miss Carol-lynn”, Charles Henry Sr., and start checking around until we find a good site such as this one pictured here to begin our picking until the tide starts coming in.  Our skiffs are towed behind the gillnetter boat, this is used to take us to the rocks. There are different types of seaweed on one rock, and we must make sure we pick the right type of Ła’ask 😊


Once the Ła’ask is dried into p’i Łoosk (seaweed square), then it is packed up into sheets and carried back to camp.


As the squares are dried, we clean out the bad seaweed and break them up into small pieces and fill up the bags that will be ready for chopping.


The chopping blocks are prepared with new cardboard edging to keep the seaweed inside the block while chopping them into bite size pieces and put into lined cans and aged a minimum of 4 days while waiting for hot sun to dry.      

Hand made seaweed choppers are made and used year after year 😊


This is the final process, hot sun to dry the chopped seaweed to the crisp 😊 lukwil ts’maatgm Ła’ask (very delicious tasting seaweed) 😊

Over the Horizon



We are happy to announce that NIFCS has successfully acquired a boat to better serve our coastal communities.

We have hired qualified personnel to operate and manage this 12-passenger vessel and while it’s home base will be the Rushbrook Marina in Prince Rupert, we have requested the permission and blessings of the respective Band Councils to allow the boat to dock and be serviced at the facilities owned by the communities during our visits there.

We are now inviting community members to submit a name to be considered for the boat. We will pick the most suitable name or create one from the various submissions. The selected submission will receive a special prize, and an invitation to the boat naming ceremony in Prince Rupert later this year, with travel, lodging and meals provided.

Please email you proposed name and its meaning/significance to: 



To announce the launch of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), NIFCS Youth Empowerment Workers from all seven member nations visited communities in the Terrace area and the coastal region around Prince Rupert to share the exciting news. These presentations and celebrations were welcome by the youth, parents, caregivers and elders. The video below depicts a visit by the team to the community of Hartley Bay.

Stay tuned for more YEP updates in future editions of the newsletter as more and more activities come to live!

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Health & Wellness


Tears - The Silent Language of Grief

It is said that “Tears are the silent language of grief”. Loss is a normal part of life, we all experience loss in many ways. Loss can be to a parent, spouse, child, home, land, culture, identity, history, community and much more.  Each person experiences loss in their own unique way and processes those feelings accordingly. It is usually the case that people around us would try to comfort us. However, people tend to have their own ways to honor their loss and move toward acceptance at their own pace. Acceptance is not something that can be reached overnight, nor forced upon the griever. But could be accelerated when honoured with space, love and meeting the person where they are at. The following clip is an example of how grief impacts our lives, changes us and helps us to grow into a new way of living. The speaker is Natasha Josefowitz, Ph.D. author of the book “Living without the one you can not live without”. She discusses grief and her experience after losing her husband, she shares some beautiful poetry and words of wisdom.

Ideas & Suggestions




The success of a community is dependent on the success of each of its members.

Your ideas and suggestions are an important part for the betterment of community life.


We invite you to share your thoughts on

how we can improve the lives of community members as well as the services provided by NIFCS. Please click the link below to visit the AMA SIG̱OOTG (GOOD IDEAS) page to submit your proposal. While there, you can can also learn about the reward and recognition program for ideas that are successfully implemented.

Reader's Corner



Woman Reading
Girl Reading on Bed

Welcome once again to Reader’s Corner.  As a reminder, each season we will be highlighting books (of different genres, staff picks, community recommended books, etc) that are written by Indigenous Authors.  Please feel free to share any “must reads” or send in your own personal book review so that others can also enjoy that book.

Book: Calling my Spirit Back

Author: Elaine Alec

Reviewed by: Rachel Hewer

Elaine Alec, whose traditional name is telxnitkw:  which means “Standing by Water”, is from the Syilx and Secwepemc Nations and has roots with the Colville and Nez Percé Nations.  Elaine is an author, a political advisor, a women’s advocate, and a spiritual thought leader and teacher.  In her book, “Calling my Spirit Back”, Elaine bares all and shows a lot of vulnerability by speaking her truth and sharing her story.  Elaine shares with her readers, challenges that she has faced growing up with some of the effects of intergenerational trauma.  This book is a personal story that speaks about trauma, survival, and transformation.  Elaine talks about how going back to her roots has helped shape her into the person she is today. 

Here is the video of an interview with Elaine Alec and Canada’s National Observer: 

Book: We are Water Protectors

Author: Carol Lindstrom

Illustrated by: Michaela Goade

Reviewed by: Rachel Hewer

“We are Water Protectors” is a children’s book for pre-schoolers and speaks of the story of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who stood up to protect the sacred land and the water supply from the “Black Snake” (the Dakota Access Pipeline).  The author shares about the sacredness of water and its importance to the four-legged, the two-legged and to the land.  This story shows Indigenous people standing together and acting for environmental justice. 

Author Carole Lindstrom is Anishnabe/Metis and is a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe, a tribe that is in North Dakota.  While Carole was not able to participate in movement, Carole felt compelled to share a story that would honour the Water Protectors.

Here is an engaging video of a read-out of the book that can by enjoyed by children and adults:

Messages for You




Dear Reader, 

We hope you enjoyed reading the Summer edition of Malsgm Sa'winsk. We are grateful for the amazing response that we have received from you for our previous publications. Thank you!

With your support and readership we hope to keep providing you with a newsletter that offers meaningful content in an engaging way. As always, we welcome any ideas and suggestions that you may have to help us continuously improve the quality and content of the Malsgm Sa'winsk

The contributors for the Summer 2022 Edition of the newsletter are:

  • Katherine Cooper

  • Vanessa Lynn-Fisher

  • Miranda Gray

  • Sharon Bryant

  • Emily Bryant

  • Roberta Barker

  • Gina Massari

  • Ocean Georgelin

  • Ethan Dundas

Our heartfelt appreciation to all contributors for providing content that engages the reader's heart, mind, and spirit. 

We would like to also thank our readers, for subscribing to the newsletter (if you have not done so, please click HERE to subscribe) and for supporting this publication. Please share it with your family and friends. We have exciting content in the works for the next edition, with more fun-tastic contests, awesome giveaways and useful information! 

With that, we would like to wish you a wonderful summer season. Enjoy the sun and stay safe!  

The Editorial Team

Rachel Hewer - Sharon Bryant - Mamie Lawson - Mohamad Shabib 

Sean Segran 

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