2012- Until recently, there were no recreational facilities for Tl'esqox First Nation (Toosey Indian Band) members to use in their community. Participation in outdoor winter activites such as hockey, skating or other sports, required driving 50 km to Williams lake in winter driving conditions where weather and animals are often a hazard.
In 2009. Northern Development funding partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society to support the construction of one of six outdoor, year-round accessible sports rinks in First Nations communities throughout the Chilcotin region. The network of rinks was built by community members and supported by community service strategies.
This project has laid the foundation for other Chilcotin First Nations to undertake similar initiatives.
"It has been a great pleasure seeing the impact that our outdoor rink has had in such a short time. The laughter we all hear from inside our office from the children and youth playing is great. It is also nice to see parents watch their children play, and at times, get on the ice and play with them. As staff, there are a few of us that use our lunch break to play a little game of shinny, it makes the rest of the day go much better. Thank you Northern Development for assisting us with funding. For many years to come, the community of Toosey will be able to enjoy all kinds of activities, which helps build a healthier community."
Luke Doxtator, Band Manager, Toosey Indian Band
Positive Economic Impacts in Riske Creek
The construction of the rink provided temporary employment for ten community members and continues to generate revenue from tournaments and activities that take place throughout the year.
The new network of rinks throughout the Chilcotin will provide a circuit of tournaments and encourage visitors and competitors from other regions to visit the area. The Toosey Band also offers refereeing and coaching clinics to band members, which makes it possible for them to participate in the programs without having to travel to Williams Lake.
By building this facility, the Toosey Band has created a sense of pride for their community and is promoting a healthy lifestyle for community members.