Mayor, Town of High Prairie.
Following is a portion of Town of High Prairie Mayor Linda Cox’s report for Feb. 8-21:
Watershed Council meeting
Feb. 9, I attended the LSWC regular board meeting in Kinuso. The LSLWC admin office has moved to new space beside the Lawrence Apartments. The new office is at street level and has high visibility due to signage, so stop in and visit. Also, check out the watershed information they have available.
At the board meeting, the draft operational plan and budget for 2017-18 was discussed. One of the main goals LSWC will be embarking on is a five-year tributary monitoring program that will collect key data for use in watershed management decisions. Significant water quality data gaps have been identified across the watershed. There will be monitoring at 15 sites, upstream, midstream and downstream on five tributaries feeding into Lesser Slave Lake.
The Integrated Watershed Management Plan will be available to the public shortly. The plan will have implementation goals – short, medium and long term. It has been a long time coming but from an environmental perspective, it was well worth waiting for.
LSWC will continue to do workshops and educational sessions, both in our schools and at public forums. As one of 11 Watershed Planning and Advisory councils in Alberta, LSWC is an import steward of one of Alberta’s major watersheds.
Women’s Emergency Shelter Gala
Feb 18, I was invited to the Sucker Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter Gala, held to recognize 25 years of service as an Indigenous Women’s Shelter. Over 100 attendees came out to show their appreciation to the board of directors and staff of the shelter, who have worked tirelessly to keep this facility open.
A representative from INAC, Child & Family Services, Bruce Pickett, also attended. In 1992, chief and council of Sucker Creek First Nations identified family violence as a social problem that was harming band residents. Twenty-five years later, current Chief Jim Badger and his council continue their support of the shelter.
SCWES operates both an Emergency Shelter Program and a Second-Stage Transition Program for families caught in the spiral of domestic violence. It was the first on-reserve shelter in Canada set up by the federal government for victims of family violence. There are now four other shelters on different reserves in Alberta funded by the federal government.
On-reserve shelters receive no funding from the provincial government, and there is a pronounced funding gap between provincial women’s shelters and on-reserve women’s shelters.
Donations are gladly accepted by the SCWES of household goods, adult and children’s clothing as well as monetary donations to keep this shelter open.