A young Nuxalk figure skater was competing in Williams Lake on Jan. 20, 21, 22, and was one of only a handful of Indigenous figure skaters at the competition.
Aaliyah Beeton, 18 years old, has not been to Bella Coola since she was too young to remember it, however, she still has strong family ties to the community. Beeton was born and raised in Terrace, but her great-grandmother was Dr. Margaret Siwallace, and her mom, Joletta Ratcliff, lived in Bella Coola until she was five years old.
Ratcliff’s parents left the community when her dad moved for a job, but her brother Vance Snow still lives in Bella Coola.
For her part, Beeton has been skating since she was five and now trains and practices figure skating six times a week.
She said she feels proud to be one of the few First Nations figure skaters out there and she hopes to show how First Nations can do anything they want, it is just a matter of putting your heart and soul into it.
This will be her final year of competition, and she was skating four times during the north-central B.C. figure skating regionals in Williams Lake. When she spoke to Black Press Media, she had skated one of her four performances, and had done well, netting a second in her first event. She was about to go on the ice for Gold Women’s Artistic.
After the weekend, she finished up with a second in Star 6 Freeskate, a fourth in Gold Artistic, a first in Star 10/Gold Dance and a second in Elements 6.
Beeton will also be attending events in Smithers, and Kamloops later this winter with the Kamloops competition to be televised on Skate Canada’s website.
After figure skating, Beeton is planning to attend college, apply for a nursing program, and hoping to make a trip to Bella Coola as an adult.
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Figure SkatingFirst NationsWilliams Lake