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I was so honoured to help design the new Commnity center for Cheam First Nation in Chilliwack, BC.
Cheam's culture & community is so important to the Cheam Community! The Xwchíyò:m have lived in S’ólh Téméxw for thousands of years. They are a thriving community and needed a centre to support their members. We were happy to help.
Cheam’s vision is to continue looking after their fish and our environment, as the Pilalt did, and to keep their community healthy and strong.
The Vision of the Cheam First Nation management team is to encourage greatness; embody excellence; display professionalism; empathy; courage; valuing culture; tradition and integrity and deliver a service second to none.
How wonderful to work with a community who embrace that teaching.
We added a health and dental wing, traditional healing room, huge gym, several offices and meeting rooms and a large kitchen to be able to feed the community during the many events that are hosted here.
In the Fall of 2021, several areas were affected my intense flooding. Cheam kindly used their gym to offer food and provisions to those in need.
Introduction by Councillor Rick Quipp
Our culture and spiritual teachings are important to the Cheam community. It is our teachings that build the person that we become. Our most important teachings to ourselves is to have fun, respect ourselves and others, be proud of our community and be proud of who we are and where we come from. We have a program for Cheam children in foster care, this program is called “Roots and Ties”. Once a month we have a dinner and encourage family members of children in care to come spend time with their children. At the dinners, the families share stories and other cultural activities. Historical events are discussed such as colonization and residential schools and how this changed our community life and our families. In fact, these two historical events almost wiped out our spiritual and cultural traditions by: taking our identity away; banning our spiritual practices; prohibiting us from voting and enforcing the Indian Act.
I am so very grateful to Chief Andrew Victor and his team for hiring us to create this important gathering place. A place to learn, to heal & come together as community. We know that it will have an important legacy and our design team is happy to have been a small part of this beautiful factilty.
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Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.