Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
In 1972, Bill Sellars was one of the Band councillors. He asked me if I would take on the job of Band Manager of the Williams Lake Band. I had no idea what he was talking about. We never had any such person or position here at the Band, ever. I asked him what he was talking about and he explained what it was in the best way he knew. Long story made short, I accepted. I started on April 1, 1972.
There was no Band office, no staff, no Band phone, and almost no budget. I had no training, I had no idea what a band manager did. I had a grand total of $3,600.00 for the year to start the first ever Band administration for the Williams Lake Indian Band.
I heard about a Band Manager’s training being offered by Cariboo College (first name of TRU) in Williams Lake. I enrolled. As it turned out it would be one of the most helpful trainings I could have taken. I learned so much about Band administration including keeping books for the Band. I had to learn to keep the books because we did not have money to hire a bookkeeper.
I had no money for travel in the budget, but the Union of BC Indian Chiefs at that time had several meetings a year and they paid travel. While at those meetings I would meet people from other Bands and I would ask questions about Band offices, Band Managers, and how they ran them and what they did. Consequently, the Union at that time had a service that they offered to bands free of charge. It was a bookkeeping training service right at the band offices and it included helping Bands throughout BC setting up finance systems and provided all the bookkeeping books. That was awesome. I was still working out of my home, so that is where I got the first Band books set up.