Heiltsuk matriarch Pat Housty was honoured in Bella Bella late last month for 44 years of business service to her community.
Housty was the manager of the Bella Bella Band Store for over 40 years, weathering all sorts of of crises, managing dozens of staff, and always finding the time to do more.
Housty served on the Heiltsuk Band Council, as a trustee on the Economic Development Corporation and helped raise money for a multitude of causes and community events. The community could always count on Housty to help at potlatches, weddings, funerals, high school grads and more; she was a tireless community supporter.
Bella Bella held a celebration for Pat on September 30, 2015. Letters of acknowledgment poured in from Premier Christy Clark, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John Rustad, and the District Officer of the RCMP.
“People like my Auntie Pat have set the bar, laid the foundation, set the standard so to speak and have modelled a way forward for us to follow as leaders of our community,” said her nephew Reg Moody “These great people of her generation have showed us that it’s not about us as individuals but us as a Nation for our Nation.”
Housty was recognized as a “visionary leader,” “authentic to the bone,” and a “consummate professional.” Her colleagues frequently lauded her remarkable skill at developing strategic initiatives, but at the same time, recognized – and appreciated – her willingness to “get her hands dirty.”
Now that she’s officially “retired” Housty plans to relax and spend quality time with her family and grandchildren.