(Lytton, BC, June 30, 2022) – Lytton residents commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Lytton Creek Fire as they come together today to reconnect and support one another following the June 30, 2021 fire that caused many of them to lose their homes and continues to impact their lives.
“Many of Lytton’s buildings were destroyed by the fire, but our community was not,” said Edith Loring-Kuhanga, school administrator for the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School. “The strength of our community has helped us carry on over the past year.”
The community will bury a time capsule with art, letters and painted stones with images depicting the people that helped them over the past year. Residents joined with students at the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School to paint the commemorative stones. The time capsule is set to re re-opened in thirty years.
“So many people, both inside and outside our community, helped us after the fire,” said Denise O’Connor, a retired school principal and volunteer with the Lytton Resiliency Centre. “This is one way we can honour them and the memory of that experience.”
The morning begins with art therapy, massage, psychological support and traditional wellness activities followed by a luncheon of Samoan pig roast as well as Korean and Chinese dishes.
Village of Lytton Mayor has seen the toll the year has taken on Lytton residents. “The last 12 months have been long and challenging, with more obstacles than I ever thought possible,” he said. “But, through it all, the one thing that remained constant was the kindness shown by our community. Every single day our community has come together to support each other and this recovery process.”
Byron Spinks, school board vice-president for the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School, points out the long journey to recovery and rebuild is still underway.
“We cannot forget that a year after the fire, many Lytton residents are still without homes and much of the devastation created by the fire still remains,” Spinks said.
The Stein Valley Nlakapamux School is located in Lytton, BC and is an independent school operated by the Stein Valley Nlakapamux School Society, Lytton First Nation. The school, which serves K4-12 and adult students, offers a holistic and unique education blending Nlakapamux culture, language and traditions with contemporary educational themes. The school’s goal is to lead the community in this process of renewal, nurturing young people to become healthy, educated and responsible citizens.
Village of Lytton is located at the junction of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers in southern British Columbia and one of the longest continuously inhabited areas in North America. Lytton is currently rebuilding after the June 30, 2021, Lytton Creek Fire which destroyed over 90 per cent of the village.