Search and rescue volunteers fill grocery list for self-isolating Tsilhqot’in families

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members briefly go over grocery lists outside Save-On-Foods before heading inside where they would spend more than one-hour shopping for on-reserve Yunesit’in households. (Rebecca Dyok photo)Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members briefly go over grocery lists outside Save-On-Foods before heading inside where they would spend more than one-hour shopping for on-reserve Yunesit’in households. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members volunteered to shop for 20 Yunesit’in households at Save-On-Foods Wednesday, Jan. 27. (Rebecca Dyok photo)Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members volunteered to shop for 20 Yunesit’in households at Save-On-Foods Wednesday, Jan. 27. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
“It’s pretty exciting,” Rick White said of providing assistance to the Yunesit’in First Nation which is currently in lockdown due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)“It’s pretty exciting,” Rick White said of providing assistance to the Yunesit’in First Nation which is currently in lockdown due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members load groceries bound for Yunesit’in households after shopping at Save-On-Foods. The groceries were unloaded in a different vehicle prior to the community’s checkpoint west of Williams Lake to limit contact. (Photo submitted)Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members load groceries bound for Yunesit’in households after shopping at Save-On-Foods. The groceries were unloaded in a different vehicle prior to the community’s checkpoint west of Williams Lake to limit contact. (Photo submitted)

It wasn’t the typical call for service Central Cariboo Search and Rescue (CCSAR) members are accustomed to, but that doesn’t mean it was any less important.

Late Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 27) CCSAR Chief Rick White pushed a grocery shopping car while scanning the aisles of a Williams Lake grocery store checking off a list for a Yunesit’in First Nation (Stone) household.

White was joined by at least 10 other members who also each filled a shopping cart of items from a list.

“It’s really neat to help out,” White said.

“Dr. Bonnie Henry said to stay safe and be kind, and this is something different for search and rescue.”

The idea of CCSAR lending a helping hand to the locked-down Tsilhqot’in community 90 kilometers west of Williams Lake follows a conversation member Dawn Unruh had with member and Yunesit’in band manager, Dwayne Emerson who mentioned how swept off his feet he had been.

“Supplies were dwindling and he didn’t know what the heck to do,” White explained.

“Unruh suggested that maybe this is something we can help out on, so they talked a bit, Dawn talked to me, and I ran it through the Cariboo Regional District.”

Read More: Paramedic rapid response team kept busy while deployed to Williams Lake

Read More: 24 new COVID-19 cases connected to Williams Lake, Cariboo Chilcotin community cluster

One or two Yunesit’in members would often volunteer to shop for the 52 on-reserve households compromised of 273 members.

Through the efforts of CCSAR, a total of 20 households had received groceries later that evening.

Contact between the dedicated group of volunteers and First Nation was limited as the groceries were unloaded from several CCSAR vehicles into Yunesit’in vehicles before the Taseko Lake Road checkpoint.

Before the remote community entered lockdown earlier this month, Chief Lennon Solomon said there had been 17 positive COVID-19 cases.

As of Jan. 26, a total of eight people had recovered.

CCSAR plans to volunteer to shop again for Yunesit’in on Feb. 3.

“I saw this during the fires —Williams Lake is a community that really cares about one another,” Emerson said.

“So if it wasn’t for CCSAR, I’m sure another group would have volunteered.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsVolunteerWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The avalanche came down on the highway sometime Sunday evening (Feb. 21) (Dawson photo)
Road to Bella Coola wharf reopens after large avalanche

The road was closed after a large avalanche covered a significant portion of the highway

Jenni Mueller lives near the wharf on the other side of the avalanche. She took this photo and thinks the avalanche happened around 8 p.m. last night (February 21). (Jenni Mueller photo)
Avalanche closes road to wharf at Bella Coola

A day and night of heavy rain resulted in avalanches across the region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Williams Lake First Nation government staff are anticipated to return to work Monday, Jan. 25. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Court orders new hearing over Williams Lake First Nation’s century-old land dispute

A three-judge panel unanimously set aside a 2018 finding by the Specific Claims Tribunal

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read