St. Joseph’s Mission Investigation Activity Summary for the period of October 30 to November 05, 2021

The Geophysical Investigation is still ongoing and Geoscan are hard at work at the St. Joseph’s Mission site obtaining mass collections of data. The debris that had been removed to allow for the scanning to take place has been returned, as those areas are now complete.

Caption: Geoscan team pulling GPR unit behind a UTV side by side.

We have received aerial imagery from the Federal Government archives, which has been given to Geoscan to assist with their work. Several interviewees were able to give us very specific data regarding building footprints shown on these aerial photos, which has been very useful to Geoscan when analysing results.
To date we have completed nine survivor interviews. The interviewees have universally felt satisfied with their choice to provide their accounts and have reported feeling a sense of relief after doing so. This past week we have spoken to Sally Wynja and Jean William, both residents of Sugar Cane.

Caption: Sugar Cane (WLFN) Elder Jean William, with Nancy Sandy and Charlene Belleau.

WLFN will be hosting Trauma Training Workshops for both staff and community members. The Workshops are led by Patricia June Vickers, PhD. Dr. Vickers’ interdisciplinary doctorate included research into Ts’msyen language (Sm’algyax), and the transformative aspects of ancestral law, which hold many answers to queries about life, purpose, healing, and positive change. Her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology gave her the opportunity to study healing through Indigenous cultural teachings and ceremony, which she weaves into all aspects of her work.

Caption: Sugar Cane (WLFN) elder Sally Wynja, with Nancy Sandy and Charlene Belleau.

The SJM team have received some small sets of files from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). All information that is received will be digitised to provided easier access for the SJM Investigation team. The team is working with the NCTR to gain access to more records.

Caption: Postcard from a personal archive, showing the SJM site.

This week, the team has put out a public call for photographs or documents related to the SJM. There will be posted advertisements in the Williams Lake Tribune, on the WLFN website, and on Facebook with details on how to submit any photos or documents. The team is especially interested in images and any original documents from the Mission or Onward Ranch. Please submit any inquiries, or documents to .