The Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN), or the T’exelcemc (people of WLFN) have belonged to the Secwepemc (or Shuswap) Nation for over 6500 years.
Today, the WLFN community includes a growing population of over 800 registered members who live on reserve in Sugar Cane, in nearby Williams Lake, BC, and across the globe. One of 17 Secwepemc nations forming Secwepemculecw, the greater stewardship land area extends from Shuswap Lake in the south, to Quesnel Lake in the north, and from Columbia-Kootenay Range in the east, to the Alexis Creek area in the west. Since time immemorial, our Kukpi7s (Chiefs) led a strong people, and they do so today.
We are Culturally Centered, Future Focused.
Chief and Council
Willie Sellars was born and raised in Williams Lake, BC and is a member of the Williams Lake First Nation (“WLFN” or “T’exelc”) of the Secwepemc Nation. Elected onto WLFN Council at the age of 24 in 2008, Willie was one of the youngest elected Councillors in WLFN history. After serving 10 years on Council he was elected as the Chief of the Williams Lake First Nation in 2018 and is currently in his first term. In his previous work experience, Willie worked as a Wildland Firefighter for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations before returning to his community to assume the position of Special Project Coordinator in the WLFN Economic Development Department. During this time he was responsible for new business initiatives flowing from Impact Benefit Agreements, engagement with proponents in the traditional territory and community consultation for major WLFN projects.
Willie is also a published author of “Dipnetting with Dad,” which won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily, Shining Willow, and Ontario Library Association awards. His next book, “Hockey with Dad,” is due to be released in the Fall of 2021. Willie enjoys his family time with his three kids, playing hockey with the Williams Lake Stampeders, attending community events at WLFN, dipnetting, and playing fastball.
Councillor Ann Louie was born in Williams Lake and raised by her grandparents, Caroline and Alec Gilbert. She is a direct descendant of Chief William through her grandmother, who is daughter of Chief Tillion William. Ann Louie served as a band councillor from 1982-1984, 1994-1996, and 2006-2008. She served as Chief from 2008 until 2018. Councillor Louie prioritizes keeping community members engaged and informed with the ongoings of WLFN. She feels a strong obligation and commitment to serving her community with heart and integrity. Councillor Louie has served on the boards of Sugar Cane Petroleum, Three Corners Health Society, the Williams Lake Community Forest and NStQ. She is a foster parent to many children, with two 16-year-old grandsons, one great grandson, and one three-year-old granddaughter. Councillor Louie considers it an honour to serve her community.
Dancing Water Sandy was born into the Secwepemc and Cree Nations and is a member of the Williams Lake First Nation. Councillor Sandy was primarily raised in East Vancouver before settling in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, where she currently resides with her son William Magnus Lulua. She holds a Bachelor of Education from UBC with a specialization in Indigenous Education and is currently employed as First Nations Curriculum Development Teacher in School District 27. In addition to education, she has worked in reforestation, environmental responsibility and mining, as well as community health and wellness. A focus for Councillor Sandy is ensuring off-reserve membership have access to health, housing, and educational needs. She enjoys Pow Wow Dancing and spending time with her son.
Chris was born and raised in the Williams Lake area. He graduated from High School in 1970 and not long after that started a career in Auto Body Repair. After 14 years, he left to attend University, majoring in History and Political Sciences. On his return back to Williams Lake he began working for Williams Lake First Nation as an Economic Development Officer and has been here ever since. Having held several different positions over the years, Chris now works as the Director of Self-Government.
Chris is married and has five children and sixteen grandchildren. He says he enjoys being a councillor as he strives to look after the wellbeing of the community for future generations. When he finishes his current term in August 2024, he will have spent 21 years as an elected councillor for WLFN.
Rick was born and raised on the Sugar Cane reservation and was the first ever Band Manager in 1972. He was also the elected Chief from 1974-1982 and 1988-1992. Rick wanted to become involved as a councillor as he saw things that needed to be done and he wanted to step in and make that happen.
Some of his most notable achievements was securing funding to build the original Band Office in 1974 and the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium in 1977. Rick moved away from the area in 1999 and spent some time living in Mississippi but returned to Sugar Cane in 2012 and has been a councillor ever since.
Councillor Shae Chelsea is the daughter of Denise Tait and Vernon Michel, and William Sellars Sr. and Elizabeth Paul. She is the granddaughter of Douglas and Gladys Tait, Bill and Martha Sellars, Frank and Elsie Michel.
She is a mother of three, she strives to help create a world they can grow up in a healthy community with their culture and traditions. She grew up in the community and has lived there her entire life, until buying a house in Williams Lake in 2016.
Shae finished her Bachelor of Social Work Degree in 2020, Human Service diploma in 2015, as well as a certificate in Education Assistant and Community Support in 2014. She worked with the youth since she was 17 years old, she also has a background in the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse program. She is now working for Knucwentwecw Society as a Social Worker, for three of the Secwepemc communities in the north.