Culture Blog

Alhka Skak Tl’a Bilgehn Lhtuz Deenyaay (United Children and Families Together)

Alhka Skak Tl’a Bilgehn Lhtuz Deenyaay (United Children and Families Together)

Apr 29, 2024
Category: General 

Oral traditions ensure that knowledge, wisdom, and cultural practices are passed down from generation to generation. Prioritizing teaching wisdom to young generations and families presents opportunities to instill deep connections to their heritage and community. The United Children and Family Together (Alhka Skak Tl’a Bilgehn Lhtuz) aims to do just that. 

On March 25 and 26, CSFS Community Engagement Facilitators and Hereditary Chiefs Cindy Lowley-Patrick and Eugene Patrick facilitated a two-day ‘Spring Culture Session’ in Burns Lake on the traditional territory of the Ts’il Kaz Koh. What they thought was going to be a single session with 50 attendees turned into a two-day event with nearly 150 people attending each day. 

At CSFS, the role of community engagement is to keep building trust with the communities we serve. By partnering with each Nation, our staff can understand their needs, and develop plans to improve the lives of children and families.

“Being present in community, talking to Elders, engaging with the youth are some of the highest requests we’ve received from communities. A lot of our children are of cross-Nations with different community backgrounds. For example, their parents or grandparents could be from two different Nations like Skin Tyee and Wet’suwet’en First Nation. Eugene and I decided it was important that we bring the spring culture sessions to six Nations – Ts’il Kaz Koh, Cheslatta, Lake Babine, Skin Tyee, Nee Tahi Buhn and Wet’suwet’en, so that we can all learn from each other,” explains Cindy Lowley-Patrick.



Hereditary Chiefs, knowledge holders, and Elders attended the event to speak about their different roles in the community. Activities ranged from making ribbon skirts and beading, to hunting tips, traditional dancing, and drumming. The hall was filled with excitement, cooperation, and unity. 

“Utilizing our own Hereditary Chiefs, Elders, Knowledge Holders, and youth prove to be the most effective way to reach our people. The two days of discussions and sharing from Nation to Nation shows how we can empower families to participate and practice cultural activities so that they can have a strong and thriving family unit,” shares Eugene Patrick. 

Attendees were grouped into different stations and presented with questions relating to child safety, culture, and language. Each station worked on their assigned questions and then presented their thoughts. 

“We encouraged people to ask questions about generational sharing and motivated every member of the family to work together with the chiefs and Elders. We set the stage for trust-building by reiterating that we were only there to help. Each question created wonderful discussions and had all age groups sharing great ideas with one another. This type of interaction is crucial for children and youth to get a sense of belonging. This way their voices are heard, giving them the encouragement that they need to be excited to participate in future community activities,” explains Cindy. 


Hereditary Chiefs and Elders walked participants through a range of traditional teachings. Hereditary Chiefs Bruce Alec and Peter Alec discussed trapping and hunting processes, while Elder John Casimel shared moose hide teachings. Hereditary Chiefs Ronnie Alec and Leno Adam explained Potlatch protocols to the youths, and how to properly conduct themselves during the business. Barb Williams and Knowledge holder Marie Patrick explored Genealogy, fish harvesting and traditional rites of passage that youth can go through. Hereditary Chiefs Helen Michell and Mable Jack worked as a niece-aunty team sharing their life experiences and talked about their roles as Hereditary Chiefs. Knowledge holder Marie Patrick led a beading and moccasin making group. Finally, Knowledge holder Pius Charlie and Hereditary Chief Herbert William demonstrated how to make a medicine bag by sewing them together. 

Through storytelling, songs, and ceremonies, Indigenous Elders impart valuable insights about their history, customs, and relationships with the land, ensuring that Indigenous heritage remains alive and relevant. These types of engagements play an important role in not only building relationships, but also bringing community together to celebrate Carrier and Sekani culture. We look forward to hosting more events like this with our communities in the future. 

For more information about future community engagement events, please contact: or




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Last modified: Wednesday 03-Apr-24 12:36:28 PDT