New Tears to Hope Society moves on projects for MMIWG

Council briefs from March 25

Newly formed Tears to Hope project plans

The newly formed Tears to Hope Society is are seeking funding for projects to honour and memorialize those who lost their lives to violence along the Highway of Tears.

Birgitte Bartlett, Ron Bartlett and Kermode Friendship Society executive director Cal Albright approached council asking for three letters of support as they seek funding for several initiatives. The Society was co-founded by Birgitte and Lorna Brown.

The first is to organize an inaugural Tears to Hope Relay Run from June 21-22. Each participant would run 10-kilometres in the 400-kilometre relay run with participants carrying scrolls with messages of hope, passing them from runner to runner throughout the night. Organizers are pursuing $25,000 from the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls Community Gatherings Program, and $5,000 from Northern Health Authority’s Imagine grants to bring in a clinical psychologist to speak about the physical and mental benefits of exercise.

The second is a regional collaboration for a larger project that includes the second annual Tears to Hope Relay Run, the MMIWG Commemorative Sunken Garden, and a project to develop and distribute a MMIWG protocol, training program and manual, somewhat similar to the Amber Alert system for missing children. This project is pursuing $200,000 from the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls Commemoration Fund.

The partners for the Kermode MMIWG Commemoration and Empowerment Project are Friendship Centres in Terrace, Houston and Smithers, Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society, Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw and Tears to Hope Society.

READ MORE: Terrace youth take action for Highway of Tears memorial

Changes to Terrace Animal Control bylaw

Council passed a repeal and replace of their animal control bylaw on March 25.

The bylaw has been amended nine times since its adoption in 1991, and this motion was to amend some areas and come forward with a cleaner document. Changes include removal of the sections dealing with keeping livestock in certain areas, the section on dangerous dogs was updated, and a new section identifying aggressive dogs was added.

“We’ve had some challenges dealing with dogs that have attacked people and some challenges with case law and enforcing dangerous dog bylaws in keeping with refusing to release animals,” says city planner David Block.

This includes the permission of local governments to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements on animals, including licensing, seizure and special powers in relation to dangerous dogs.

Some of the regulations were updated to reflect new legislation and guidelines for keeping animals. Many of the fees for services provided by the animal shelter were also increased.

READ MORE: Dog behaviourist holds classes to raise funds for NARA

Memorial project for Dr & Mrs. Mills

The need and placement for a proposed memorial to Dr. Stanley Gordon Mills and his wife, nurse Edith Mills was a topic of debate during the council meeting.

City freeman Yvonne Moen, on behalf of the Terrace’s 100 Years Celebration Committee, approached council to advocate the need for an educational historic memorial dedicated to the story of the couple, for whom the Mills Memorial Hospital is named.

Dr. Mills was one of Terrace’s first permanent doctors who worked with the minimal resources he was given, in one case had to operate on a kitchen table. He and other residents began advocating for a proper hospital after the great Skeena River flood in 1936. In May 1961, Dr. and Edith Mills both perished in a house fire. The Terrace and District Hospital was renamed the Mills Memorial Hospital in 1962 to honour them.

READ MORE: Health history of Terrace B.C.

Council agreed to support a memorial plaque, which would be placed on the southwest corner of Lazelle Ave. and Atwood St., where the Mills’ used to live. With the confirmation of support from descendants of the Mills family to fund the memorial for up to $1,500 from council unbudgeted, which had $5,692 remaining.

Bujtas voted no to the motion, echoing the need to first get support from the family, but also addressed whether or not another commemoration was needed.

“I am a little concerned about our council unbudgeted as well, but having a hospital named after you is pretty significant. I just don’t see a need to do more than that at this time,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there who deserve recognition that we’re missing out on.”

Housing Committee updates

Council reviewed a report from the housing committee’s February meeting. There was a review of the housing projects between 2018-2019. The Ma’kola Indigenous Housing project with 48 units was approved for $96 million in funding. Ksan Society’s women’s transitional housing facility was pre-approved. New legislation was also introduced that requires communities to complete a housing needs assessment every three years.

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