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

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To the Malsgm Sa'winsk

Greetings Subscribers!

Welcome to the Fall 2021 Edition of Malsgm Sa'winsk (Newspaper).

We hope you had a great summer with family and friends. If you enjoyed the summer edition of our newsletter, you're in for a treat with this fall edition. We are happy to bring you more news and happenings from our communities. The fall newsletter highlights the Youth Empowerment Camps that were hosted in  a couple of communities with more coming soon. We will also read about other communal activities that took place throughout summer, check out the latest updates on our Lighthouses, and be inspired by insights and wisdom from the people. Want to learn how to make yummy seafood fritters? Then you want to visit the 'Relish-ous Recipes' section! Don't forget to check out the 'Fun-tastic' section and win a $100 gift card. What is Nature Deficit Disorder? Find out in the 'Health & Wellness' section. 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 mesmerizing autumn!


The Editorial Team


Community Spotlight


Youth Empowerment Camp 2021

The Youth Empowerment Camp was scheduled for August 2021. So far, one camp each has been held in Lax Kw'alaams and Gitxaala, with more being planned for the rest of the seven First Nations communities we serve. The purpose of these camps is to create spaces for youth to come together and enjoy a sense of camaraderie while acquiring meaningful knowledge in leadership, teamwork and cultural values/virtues through fun activities. In addition, we hope that these events, alongside other efforts by the community, will provide a sense of normalcy in life after having endured 18 months of varying degrees of isolation due to the pandemic.

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Lax Kw'alaams Youth Empowerment Camp - Video Highlights

Gitxaala Youth Empowerment Camp - Video Highlights

Teambuilding Activities


Help! How do we flip this tarp without stepping out of it?


Now I know why they call this activity Gravity Ball! 


Morning motivation! 


Which colors did you say I have to pick from these? 


Preparing for the grand Egg-drop challenge...


Elder Bryant mesmerizing the youth with his traditional stories


Feel like a willow-in-the-wind. I trust you to keep me from falling. 


The Tarantula Tango!  Now which way do I go?


Like the waves of a sea, we move in solidarity, and joyful unity... 


You can trust me. I won't let you fall!


Wrapt in attention... we're gonna get this right!


A good stretch. Best way to start the morning!


A brighter future awaits us on the flip side of this tarp. How do we get there?


Instant indoor camping. Takes 20 seconds to setup! How cool is that?

Planting the Tree of Virtues


Lax Kw'alaams Youth & Family at the Garden of Virtues at the end of the two-day

Youth Empowerment Camp

Gitxaala Youth & Family at the Garden of Virtues at the end of the two-day

Youth Empowerment Camp


Weaving in Kitsumkalum


The summer of 2021 was met with few larger gatherings due to the uncertainty of Covid transmission.  At the Kitsumkalum Health Centre, Sandra E. Wesley had opened up days of teaching youth how to work with cedar bark.   In these photos, it shows two youth spending time to learn how to work with their hands and minds with cedar.  One is making a cedar hat and the other a small mat.   


Working with cedar has been something that has been done for centuries with people of the coast.  This provided clothing, storing food, carrying items, and/or making mats for the floors or wall-hanging.  So many uses were done with cedar bark.  It is good to see that these teachings continue to be passed down and the offering to teach youth is open. 


In these times of a pandemic, although not in huge numbers, cultural sharing can still exist and this is a great example of what can be done.

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The After-school Program

This is a place to keep the youth of Kitselas busy after school and to learn some everyday tasks that we face each day, such as cooking/baking, staying active, learning new ways of using their imagination with crafts and handy DIY hacks. We also recently started a girls/boys group for support. Our plan is to empower our youth to live a fun yet healthy lifestyle. We are also trying to pursue some cultural activities, such as cedar weaving, we want to eventually do a fish harvesting class, gathering berries and picking natural medicine like Labrador tea and devils club. Our goal is to build a healthy relationship with the youth and families of Kitselas and grow together as a community. Enjoy the pictures below from these activities.


NIFCS Staff Spotlight

Emily Bryant
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick:​

Dm Sylhaytk Gyibaaw di waayu. Laxgyibuu d’pdeegu. Kitsumkalum ada Laxkwa’laams di wil waatgu. Kitsumkalum di wil dzogu.

My name is Dm Sylhaytk Gyibaaw, I am from the wolf clan. I am from Kitsumkalum and Laxkwa’laams. I live in Kitsumkalum 😊

What is your role at NIFCS?

I am a Youth Empowerment Worker, yay! New role, for the past two years I have been a Family Support Worker

What was your very first job (In general)?

My very first job was working with kids in a summer program in Kitsumkalum. It was called “Fun in the Sun” and it was a part of the “Student Summer Program” provided by Kitsumkalum. We all had the opportunity as young kids to work for community. Some of us did summer programs and some worked in lawn maintenance.


Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

I started as a on-call/casual front desk clerk. Whenever the office was empty and needed someone to answer phones – I was that person. It wasn’t until December 2018 that I was approached to become a Family Support Worker. My mother has a very strong history within this organization and has always been a source of support and inspiration – this was an easy call to answer YES to! As time went on I got more familiar with community and community engagement, which has empowered me to take another step into the Youth Empowerment Role 😊 So exciting!

What is your favorite Dinosaur?

Velociraptor! And whatever dinosaur Little Foot is

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People chewing with their mouths wide open LOL.

Most memorable moment from 2020?

OH, it is many moments. Especially within my language community. So many online groups throughout 2020, we got to engage in so many and still do today. I’m forever grateful!

What is your favorite chocolate bar?

HANDS DOWN it is Crunchie. Nomnomnomnomnom.

Do you have a favorite song?

I have many! Today I will choose Screaming Indian by Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Powerful songs by that duo.

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

I would buy ski boots! Because the season is near and I’d love to be prepared!

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

If you, or if you know of someone who is interested in this kind of work, I am here for you. If you have any questions, I am here. Choosing to work within community is a huge reward in itself – you begin to reintroduce yourself to many people and introduce yourself to many opportunities. At the best of times, it doesn’t feel like work at all – you’re in the moment with your relations and your co-workers and you’re all working together on culture, inclusion and support. I have to say, sometimes it feels surreal. That being said there is a lot of work and policies to be mindful of and to educate yourself on, thankful to have a strong team at my side.

Are you a cat, dog, or bird person?

Definitely a cat person. I’d love a dog if I had more supports in place (space, time, etc.)


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

SPAGHETTI – always Spaghetti and ribs

Jacqueline Bryant
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Please introduce yourself, traditional or non, you pick.

My name is Jacqueline Bryant; I belong to the Gitwilgyots Ganhada Tribe

What is your role at NIFCS?

I am a Family Support Worker

What was your very first job (In general)?

My very first job was “General Labourer” for the Lax Kw’alaams Band.  I was given a machete with about 7 other people and we cleared the School Field so that the school would be able to use it for sports.

Describe how and when you came to NIFCS?

I was going through the job listing on the Lax website and seen the ad for a Family Support Worker.  Once I did a little bit of research I applied for the position.  I started work right on my mom’s birthdate of April 3rd and have been working happily for the past 3 years now.

What is your favorite Dinosaur?

Hehehe my favorite Dinosaur is T-Rex

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when my son’s insist that they are right when they KNOW that mom is ALWAYS right 😊 even when I am wrong…hehehe


Most memorable moment from 2020?

The most memorable moment for me is when my first grand daughter was born.

What is your favorite chocolate bar?

The Green Aero Bar

Do you have a favorite song?

CCR – Put a candle in the window.

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

Cat food  (I am sure I am feeding the ENTIRE neighbourhood or two)

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

Think before you act and always be grateful!

Are you a cat, dog, or bird person?

All of the above.  Love them all

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

Steak with sautéed garlic veggies and mashed potatoes.



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Wisdom from our Elders

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Vera Wilson from Haisla Shares Some Thoughts... 

Q: What are some of the highlights in your life from a cultural standpoint that brought you joy?

A:- Working with young people and working on our language together. Especially the young men and women that are not in my age bracket, fresh out of college and high school, learning fast. It helps that they hear the language from their grandparents. It was always spoken in my household, so, siblings understand the language.

Q: What advice would you share with young people today to help them navigate life using culture and tradition as a guide?

A: When I was growing up and if we were seen misbehaving in the streets, whatever elder that was there watching, would go to our house and tattle on us and we’d get in trouble, we would be constantly lectured to not misbehave. We were always advised before we leave the house, not to say anything to anyone that would make them feel bad, that’s how I grew up. We were told to not swear around the village, to behave in public, and we all got the same rules before we left the house. At 7am my grandmother would call us down to breakfast. We were not allowed to lay around. We all ate together in the morning, lunch and supper.  Weren’t allowed to go eat anywhere else unless it’s a birthday supper. A lot of advice is lost. I would like to see those make their way back.  It wasn’t the parents that brought the children up, it was the whole village, they all kept an eye on one another’s children.     

Q: What is your view of the future for our people and culture?

A: It is very hard to look that far ahead, but I am hoping that all the young kids, going to school now, all start speaking their language fluently in school. I think it is more meaningful to hire native-speakers to teach language to our children. If we can look our for one another, it will help us in our journey. Growing up, we were always taught to go and help people them out if we could. There was an old lady who was bed ridden. She lived in village by herself. My cousin and I would go there and ask if she needed anything. If she said she needed water, we would go to the well and get water. If she needed wood, we would pack some in. We didn’t get paid, it was the right thing to do. When we said we were finished and going to go, she was always very thankful. People used to just go to the house to visit her. When they knocked on the door, she would invite them in and put on some tea and have it with some homemade bread and jam. This is the way of our people. We must not lose this.




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 6 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 Sept 30 2021




01. Pointer -> Culture & History! Clue: The 1st letter in the first name of this elder.

02. Pointer -> Yummy Recipes! Clue: The 5th letter in the first name of the person who provided this recipe.

03. Pointer -> Health & Wellness! Clue: The last letter in the title of the one article in this section.

04. Pointer -> Staff Spotlight! Clue: The last letter in the last name of both these staff.

05. Pointer -> Voices of our Youth! Clue: A letter that is at the heart of the word 'Youth'.

06. Pointer -> For Book Lovers! Clue: 2nd letter in the main title of this section of the newsletter.





by Gloria Russell


4 /6 clams

4/6 cockles

10 shrimp

1/2 cup crab meat

Fresh or smoked salmon & halibut

Bacon bits

Chopped onions

Chopped celery

1 cup flour

2 tbsp baking powder

Lea & Perkins

1 cup water

Curry powder( optional)


a) Chop up clams, cockles, shrimp, salmon & halibut,

b) Add crab meat, bacon bits, celery, onions, Lea &     Perrin and water,

c) Mix and add flour, baking powder, salt & pepper, garlic powder,

d) Pan fry in oil (med heat),

e) Garnish with parsley and serve with rice or potatoes and enjoy.



Kitselas Lighthouse Mountain
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Enjoy the view of a majestic mountain watching over the Lighthouse.

The building is nearing completion and is expected to be occupied by mid-October 2021.

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NIFCS Executive Director, Team Leader and Manager for Prevention & Cultural Programs met with the Kitselas Chief and Council on Sept. 9th to have a short meeting of introduction and presentation on the purpose of the Lighthouse and the Youth Empowerment Program. This was followed by a tour of the Lighthouse building.  It was a very positive meeting with some good questions and clarifications regarding the operational spaces of building and how the local youth programs and the NIFCS Youth Empowerment Program can compliment each other.  Both Kitselas and NIFCS look forward to the continued working relationship in a collaborative spirit.  Congratulations to the new Kitselas Chief and Council! All the best in your positive leadership!!

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The gorgeous Kitsumkalum Lighthouse has been on a race to completion alongside the Kitselas Lighthouse. It's been a slow and steady race, but an exciting one nevertheless! We are now able to confirm that this Lighthouse will be ready to be occupied by mid-October as well! Stay tuned!



 What is 'Nature Deficit Disorder'?


Richard Louv wrote the book, “Last Child in the Woods” (2005).  It has also been dubbed, “Leave no child inside”.  This video below helps to explain how important nature-play is to our wellbeing as humans.  When children, youth and adults take on a sedentary lifestyle of gaming, watching a lot of TV, or staying inside away from nature, it causes a lot of health issues such as obesity and emotional unhappiness.  To feel healthy there needs to be a balance of two-parts of nervous system: the Sympathetic System and the Para-Sympathetic System.  The sympathetic system is target and narrow focused, and sharpens our awareness towards something (fight or flight).  Some of the activities include the video-games and watching a lot of TV; whereas, the para-sympathetic system is broader and field-focused or taking in a lot of information that is in the outdoors, this helps to calm as well.  When there is a balance of both, there is a restorative power that happens.  The activity of doing something outdoors helps to create that balance and activates the “feel-good” hormones of serotonin and dopamine.  In nature-play, people begin to destress and the stress levels go down.  There is a more relaxed and enjoyable state that happens and both nervous systems become more balanced. 


Take a walk, ride a bike, go swimming, skating or dancing.  We are meant to move our bodies and be active.  This will lengthen our life span so that we can spend good quality time with our loved ones.





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.




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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.


Author Stephen Graham Jones

Book: The Only Good Indians

Author: Stephen Graham Jones

Reviewed by: Rachel Hewer

I recently read a book called “The Only Good Indians” which is written by Stephen Graham Jones.


Stephen Graham Jones is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and an award-winning author.  Jones has published over 20 books, however, has voiced that he has written several more that have not been published.  In addition to books, Jones has published hundreds of short stories.  Jones is a Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.  In an interview with Victor LaValle, Stephen Graham Jones shares that this book has three parts, with the first part being haunted house, the second part being slasher and the third part being monster.


The Only Good Indians is a horror story that is about a group of friends who went on a hunting trip when they were teenagers in a place where they were not legally or traditionally allowed to hunt.  While on this trip, the four friends do something that they should not have done.  With an “I know what you did last summer” vibe, a near decade later, this group of friends have become the target of a revenge itch that only their deaths can satisfy. 


If you are a fan of horror stories, this is one that you should read. Trigger warning:  this book has gore, blood, death, violence toward animals and death of animals, and some other triggers.

Interested? You can purchase the novel here:



From Kathleen Bennett, Executive Director, NIFCS.

Thank you for reading the Malsgm Sa'winsk, a newsletter that aims to capture and share engaging, inspiring and enlightening news about the people, and the communities that NIFCS serves.

I hope you found the content entertaining and informative. We aim to have a little something for every reader! My personal special (among many) in this edition is the “Youth Empowerment Camps” with the awesome images and powerful messages for, and from, the youth (and junior youth) forming healthy bonds of friendship, through play, team building exercises, creativity and learning together.  I enjoyed watching the video about the importance of supporting and encouraging our children to play outdoors, to spend time in nature and appreciate the benefits that nature provides including increased physical, mental and emotion health.  My heart sings when I see the camp taking place in communities, on the Land, which is very rich in cultural connections. I look forward to supporting similar camps in the other communities soon.


Many hands made these camps possible and I “raise my hands“ in gratitude and I extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in the planning and implementation of the Youth Empowerment Camps. You know who you are. And a very warm thank you to the Editorial Team for putting this news letter together. It takes a lot of hours to put out a newsletter of this caliber and your efforts are much appreciated. I am confident that our readers, over four hundred in number, enjoy reading the contents as well and appreciate the creativity that is put into it. It is a beautiful and wholesome publication. 


This week, the agency is busy planning with our communities to celebrate Orange Shirt Day, on September 30, 2021. It falls on the same day as the new Federal stat day for Truth and Reconciliation.  As an Indigenous agency , we share the same vison of justice, equity, respect and unity for all Indigenous peoples in Canada.     


On behalf of myself and the NIFCS governing body - the Board of Directors - we lift each and everyone of you

​up, we honor you, your work, and the values of caring, love, compassion, and dedication that you exemplify. ​We celebrate you dearly, through the course of your social work and will continue to hold you up as you serve

the precious children, youth, families, and communities in our care.

I sincerely thank you for the work you do, which is perfectly aligned with the Vision and Mission of our agency:

“Healthy Children, Healthy Families, Healthy Communities."

Kathleen Bennett



Dear Reader, 

We hope you enjoyed the fall edition of Malsgm Sa'winsk. We continue to be gratified 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:

  • Gloria Russell

  • Colin Angus

  • Katherine Cooper

  • Vanessa Fisher-Danes

  • Miranda Gray

  • Emily Bryant

Our heartfelt appreciation to all contributors for providing content that engages the reader's heart, mind, and spirit. Even with the easing of COVID restriction, much effort is required for to obtain this material. Thank you for you excellent work!

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 fall season. Enjoy the glorious colors of nature and stay safe!  

The Editorial Team

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

Sean Segran