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Newsletter Masthead 1920 - Winter 2021-2
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. 



To the Malsgm Sa'winsk

Greetings Subscribers!

Welcome to the SECOND YEAR of the Malsgm Sa'winsk! Thank you for staying with us through our first year of publication. We are thrilled to bring you another four seasons of news and happenings in the community for 2022.


We hope you enjoyed a pleasant fall season with family and friends. We are happy to share with you this winter edition of the Malsgm Sa'winsk! This season's newsletter brings you exciting news of events, workshops, celebrations and more from NIFCS and the communities.  Don't forget to check out the Fun'tastic Activities section to win a $100 gift card and grab a yummy recipe from our Relishous Recipes segment. Two book reviews and much more await you in this edition of the Malsgm Sa'winsk.

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 Joyful Holiday Season and a healthy and happy 2022!


The Editorial Team

Welcome Message

Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight


On October 25, 2021, Lax Kw’alaams Brighter Futures sponsored a pumpkin patch, with support from Lax Kw’alaams Headstart, NIFCS, Lax Kw’alaams Health Department & CTA school. 


The pumpkin patch was very busy but an amazing success. As you can see there were also photo props set up along with some other halloween decorations and games. The photo props were used by families taking pictures of their babies. Also seen in the photo are some babies who weren’t too interested in getting their photos taken, as evidenced by Juniper glaring at the photographer! (Left to right is Juniper, Damien, Allegra Sankey) 


All items were donated and dropped off for us to use. We started with over 210 pumpkins.  At the end there were only 14 lonely pumpkins that weren’t picked. The left over pumpkins were donated to the CTA school for a high school class to have a pumpkin carving contest. 

In Lax Kw’alaams NIFCS is happy to support and assist the community whenever we are able to. It was an amazing experience to be a part of Lax Kw’alaams Community Events. I would like to honour the ladies that put in the time and effort in planning and hosting these big events. You ladies are amazing! Special shout out to: Debra Kelly, Jocelyn Morrison, Stephanie Tait, Traci Reece, Susan Dennis, Marilyn Bryant, and all your tireless and dedicated helpers. Keep up the awesome work! Your kindness, love and creativity that goes in to planning these events didn't go unnoticed <3. 

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Kitselas Youth Workers organized a year-end gathering for the youth in the community. Below are pictures from the fun-filled event that included turkey dinner and games! After the fab dinner, we played several games including a dress up game where whoever dresses a person up the best (based on the judge’s opinion) would win a prize. Then we played some bingo for prizes as well and the youth really enjoyed that. After bingo we celebrated with some Christmas poppers and all the youth got to collect the goodies inside their poppers. Youth worker Tiffany also provided them with some goodie bags to take home. It was a wonderful celebration and we were thrilled that 21 happy youth had a fun night, full  of laughter and turkey! :)

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Algya̱ga K’üülm G̱oot – Heart Speak

Heart Speak is a youth, self expression project. The purpose of the program is to enrich the lives of youth and community through the practice of listening, speaking, and acting from the heart. Our goal is to improve expression capacity, first within oneself, and then with others.

We want to support youth step by step to feel, “I have a story. And I know it has meaning.” We, Emily Bryant and Brittany McDougall, piloted the project in October 2020! It is a Circles program, focusing on kindness and compassion – to give back to friends/family/community and ourselves through meaningful discussions. Each week we focus on Circle topics: Resilience, Authenticity, Empathy, Growth, Generosity, Service.

The youth are here to learn how to lead circles, acknowledge each other’s story, and invited back to be Youth Leaders in future with Algya̱ga K’üülm G̱oot.

Our Support Crew for the youth consists of Knowledge Keepers with Ceremony, Sm’algyax Language opportunities, Finding Your Voice Workshop, Child Youth and Mental Health Services, and advice from Leaders in our Communities. (Thank you to Sherry McDames, Sharon Bryant, Dr. Mique’l D’angeli, Mike D’angeli, Kathy Wesley, Gerald Nyce, Ocean Georgelin, Lynn Wright, and the team at Live Different!)

We have successfully completed 3 rounds of Circles with Live Different and excited for the fourth in Spring of 2022. Here are a few photos of our experiences together! The first two Circles were online via Zoom, with a Celebration Camp Cleanse at the lake. Our 3rd Circle was completed in person, how exciting is that! We got to break bread together twice a week, play games, get creative with our Compassion Project, and think about what kindness means to us.

Big BIG thank you to Britt MacDougall for bringing this program into a reality through all of your hard work with funding initiatives, rallying all of us together to support the youth, and naming me as co-founder. I will be carrying on these Circles as Britt moves forward onto empowering adventures, excited to see what happens next!



Throughout October of 2021, a series of workshops was held with focus on Cultural Values & Virtues. These sessions were attended by caregivers, community youth workers and all NIFCS staff. The workshop was delivered by master facilitators from Virtues Project International (VPI). The mission of VPI is to inspire people to remember who we really are and how to live by our highest values by supporting the practice of virtues in everyday life. Its foundation is research into the world’s great wisdom traditions.

Participants enjoyed the sessions and were inspired to action through the sharing and learning that took place during their two-day workshops. There was a joyful consensus for using the language of virtues in our daily lives and to recognize and celebrate them when we observe virtues being practiced within ourselves, our families and our communities.

Below is a video and a few photos from these workshops.

Staff Spotlight

NIFCS Staff Spotlight

Roberta Barker
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick:​

My name is Roberta Barker and I live in Metlakatla


What is your role at NIFCS?

I work as the Metlakatla Family Support Worker/ Youth Empowerment Worker

What was your very first job (In general)?

Family Support Worker


Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

Summer of 2017

What is your biggest pet peeve?


Most memorable moment from 2021?

The YEP presentation to the NIFCS Board of Directors and facilitating the hiring of 4 Metlakatla members, into gainful employment.

What is your favorite chocolate bar?

Coffee Crisp

Do you have a favorite song?

Sound of Silence by Disturbed.

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

Send it to my 3 grandkids.

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

Believe in yourself and always approach each task with integrity, and humility..

Are you a cat, dog, or bird person?



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

Fried abalone with rice.

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

My Mom and Dad

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

Solitude and my laptop working on my memoirs

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My memories

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

Go back in time when all my grandparents, aunts, uncles and parents were still alive

What is your most treasured memory?  


Mamie Lawson
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick.

My name is Mamie Lawson, NIFCS Executive Assistant; my role is to work alongside the Executive Director and Board of Directors to ensure that the Northwest Inter-Nation Family & Community Services Society is up to date in all filings, set up Board meetings, etc.  I also assist the NIFCS team in any way that I can to keep things running smoothly in operations/administration.  I am Tsm’syen and a member of the Lax Kw’alaams Band and belong to the Gitwilgyots Tribe (Laxgibuu), and proud to be a part of the Ganhada (Raven) through my grandmother as my mother was adopted by her father.

What was your very first job (In general)?

My first work experience was working in the Lax Kw’alaams cannery at the age of fourteen; I wasn’t quite old enough to work, but as most of my peers were working there, I wouldn’t leave the cannery until management (the floor lady) told me to go home and come back later that evening to work night shift; today I can’t believe I was so persistent, if I was the floor lady, I would have called my parents and have them come get me.

Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

Life has taken me down so many roads and I have worked in many positions.  I became employed with NIFCSS in late June 2020 after becoming unemployed due to COVID-19.  I have worked most of my life and was never happy being unemployed, I prefer to keep busy.  I saw the job posting, knew a few people who worked there and submitted my resume.

What is your favorite Dinosaur?

My favourite dinosaur is the Tyrannosaurus Rex as this was my first grandson’s favorite, I loved it so much that I got a tattoo of it in memory of my late grandson.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people lying straight to my face.


Most memorable moment from 2021?

It was the birth of my son’s first-born baby boy, it was a very happy moment for me and my family, especially since we haven’t had any babies in our family for over 10 years..

Do you have a favorite song?

​One of my favourite songs is “You are my sunshine” as I sang this song to my children and grandchildren when they were babies to soothe them.

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

Believe in yourself as you can do anything that you put your mind to, have any career that you want if you want it badly, and foremost choose a career that you are passionate about.

What would constitute a perfect day for you?

To have family around me enjoying each other’s company without any social technology to keep us from communicating with one another.  I am most grateful for my family and the love that I have for them.

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

It would be the gift to cure others of all diseases, especially cancer.

What is your most treasured memory?  

Giving birth to a tiny precious human being.

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NIFCS staff participated in a celebration of all our legacy services, and welcomed  new programs for our communities. The United in Service was held at the Best Western Hotel in Terrace on December 07, 2021.

It was a wonderfully inspiring gathering with focus on service to our communities with unity at the center of all our thoughts and action. Below are a few photos from the event.

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NIFCS Youth Empowerment Workers received an invite to present the purpose and framework of the Youth Empowerment Program to the Board of Directors.

The team took time to prepare themselves for this excellent opportunity to faithfully share not only the workings

of the program but also the deeper layers of meaningful engagement and capacity-building opportunities it offers to our youth.

The event was hosted at the brand new Lighthouse in Kitselas on the morning of Friday, November 10, 2021. This was the first gathering held at this building upon its recent completion. The program started with prayers and singing by our staff from the Terrace office, followed by a warm welcome by Debbie Moore, the Manager of Community Services for Kitselas First Nations.

Each Youth Empowerment Worker, representing their respective communities, then took turn to present the Youth Empowerment Program to the members of the board. Their inspiring presentation was well received by all who were present.


In order of presentation:


1. Emily Bryant (Kitsumkalum)

2. Miranda Gray (Kitselas)

3. Katherine Sankey (Lax Kw'alaams)

4. Megan Ross (Haisla)

5. Armaan Ratra (Prince Rupert)

6. Hilary Robinson (Haisla)

7. Colin Angus (Prince Rupert)

8. Britt McDougall (Kitsumkalum)

9. Roberta Barker (Metlakatla)


Congratulations to the team for a job well done! Below is a brief video of the gathering.

Culture & History


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Wisdom from our Elders

Beatrice Bryant from Lax Kw'alaams

Beatrice was kind enough to share an engaging story and her wisdom with the reader. Kindly click on the link below to listen to the audio recording of the interview facilitated by Sharon Bryant 

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Beatrice Bryant Audio
00:00 / 08:52
FunTastic Activities




Enjoy crossword puzzles?

Our puzzle specialist Ocean Georgelin has created

a new puzzle in Sm’algyax for the

winter 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 5 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. E-mail your answer to:  by January 21 2022




01. Pointer -> Right Here! Clue: The 2nd letter in the title of this section.

02. Pointer -> Yummy Recipes! Clue: Last letter of the last name of the person who provided this recipe.

03. Pointer -> Health & Wellness! Clue: 4th letter of the first name of the person interviewed in this section.

04. Pointer -> Staff Spotlight! Clue: 6th letter of the first name of one of the two staff highlighted in this section.

05. Pointer -> Wisdom from Elders! Clue: 3rd letter of the last name of this elder.








Relishous Recipes


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by Lilian Samson


2 cups all – purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup sweetened applesauce

½ cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups diced peeled apples


In a large bowl mix in flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.


In a second bowl, beat eggs, blend in applesauce, milk, oil and vanilla.


Pour over dry ingredients, sprinkle in the apples and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin cups, filling three-quarters full. Then mix about 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and mix then sprinkle on top of the muffins before placing in oven.  Bake in center of 375F (180C) oven until tops are firm to the touch 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes: transfer to rack and let cool.

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Over the Horizon


The stately Kitsumkalum Lighthouse nears completion. Furnishing has been setup and all operational equipment and devices will be installed by end of December. This building is scheduled to be ready for the use in January of 2022!

Health & Wellness


 MOVEMBER with Blaine Stensgaard

NNADAP Counsellor (National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program) Blaine Stensgaard is sharing his experience of Movember 2021 and goes into some detail of what Movember is all about.  Blaine works at the Kitsumkalum Health Centre and is passionate about creating and helping men’s wellness activities for the community.

Please join us in listening to what Blaine has to say about bringing awareness to Men’s Wellness and Health issues that need attention.


Thank you to Kathy C. Wesley for conducting this interview.

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



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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.

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Author Katherena Vermette

You can purchase the Seven Teachings

Book 1: The Strangers

Book 2: The Seven Teaching Stories

Author: Katherena Vermette

Reviewed by: Rachel Hewer

I recently read a book called “The Strangers” which is written by Katherena Vermette.  This book is well written and addresses several issues with many trigger warnings.  Some of these are about incarceration, suicide ideation, drug use, physical violence, and child apprehension.  If this is something you piques your interest, this could be a good read for you.  Reading “The Strangers” made me want to look into other books that Katherena Vermette has written.  This led me to reading Katherena’s books in the “The Seven Teaching Stories”. 


“The Seven Teaching Stories” are a series of seven books written for children and youth.  Each book shares a story and one of the Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe (Love, Wisdom, Humility, Courage, Respect, Honesty, and Truth).  These quick reads are written in a manner that can be easily taught and understood by children.  Both the illustrations and the stories shared in this series are those that Indigenous Children may relate to and could assist in the teachings.


Katherena Vermette is a Metis writer from Treaty 1 territory and was born in Winnipeg.  Katherena has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.  Katherena has worked in poetry, novels, children’s literature, and film. 

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Messages for You




Dear Reader, 

We hope you enjoyed this winter edition of Malsgm Sa'winsk. We continue to be encouraged by the positive response that we have received from you. Thank you!

With your support and readership we hope to keep providing you with a newsletter that provides 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 this Fall Edition of the newsletter are:

  • Lilian Samson

  • Beatrice Bryant

  • Blaine Stensgaard

  • Katherine Sankey

  • Miranda Gray

  • Emily Bryant

Our sincere 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 contests, awesome giveaways and useful information! 

With that, we would like to wish you a wonderful Holiday Season. Enjoy precious time with family, friends and community. Stay safe!  

The Editorial Team

Rachel Hewer - Sharon Bryant - Mamie Lawson - Kathy C. Wesley - Armaan Ratra -

Sean Segran 

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