A survivor of Canada’s residential school system and an advocate of First Nations rights will be in Kelowna next week to discuss indigenous rights.
Bev Sellars is a former councillor and chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake as well as a published author and advocate for First Nations rights in a variety of fields.
Sellars was first elected chief of Xat’sull in 1987, a position she held from 1987 to 1993 and then from 2009 to 2015 and has also worked as a community advisor for the BC Treaty Commission.
A published author Sellars wrote They Called Me Number One, a memoir of her childhood experience in the Indian residential school system and its effects on three generations of women in her family. Published in 2013 the book won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness, was shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature
She followed that with Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival, published in 2016 by Talon books. That book looks at the history of indigenous rights in Canada from an indigenous perspective. Sellars has a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia.
She has spoken out on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resources exploitation in her region and is currently Chair of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM).
Her discussion called Indigenous Economies, will take place in room B112 at Okanagan College on March 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.