Barb Cote

Barb Cote

By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

A shining example of leadership and courage will be on display for the attendees in the Columbia Valley shortly.

The Windermere Valley Youth Centre will be hosting a celebrity luncheon for Shuswap Indian Band chief Barb Cote in the Quartz Grand Hall at Copper Point Resort at noon on Sunday, April 24th.

Its going to be one of our annual fundraising events and we wanted to honour somebody within the valley who has gone above and beyond in their job or made a significant contribution to the people of the valley, said Sherry Doerr, youth centre spokesperson. Our first representative was chosen as Ms. Cote (in light of) her rise during the election as the (new) Shuswap Indian Band chief.

Ms. Cote was elected as the Shuswap chief on November 10th, 2014, ousting outgoing chief Paul Sam from the post after he served the community for roughly three decades. Ms. Cote has taken on many challenges following the bands discovery of the previous administrations mismanagement and has actively been working toward making improvements for her citizens. Her goals have been to improve safety, health and education while encouraging the Shuswap staff to be transparent and accountable to the community.

She is very open and despite the challenges faced in the Shuswap community, said Ms. Doerr. Shes doing a great job and has a lot of respect both in and outside of her band.

Ms. Cote holds a masters degree in distributed learning from Royal Roads University in Victoria and has nearly 20 years of work experience as an Aboriginal support worker within School District 6.

I know how effective shes been to help more of our Indigenous youth complete high school and go on to a brighter future since shes been a part of it, said Ms. Doerr, noting that Ms. Cote will be talking to attendees at the event about being raised in the valley and being the great-granddaughter to the last hereditary chief of the Akisqnuk First Nation.

There are 140 tickets available for $35 each and anyone interested in attending can purchase a ticket by calling 250-342-3033 or 250-688-0553. For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected].