2020 was difficult for a lot of, however that hasn’t stopped Okanagan Indian Band member Frank Marchand from being there to assist and help group members in want.
As a part of an ongoing sequence on group change-makers, IndigiNews requested folks to appoint those that are having an affect on their group.
When Darleen Lambert noticed the decision for group nominations, she says her first thought was Marchand.
“Frank is a tremendous individual, and I consider he’s so effectively deserving of this. So after I noticed this, I needed to,” mentioned Lambert, who’s Marchand’s cousin.
She explains that Marchand and his late Father, Gordon Marchand, are well-known grasp canoe carvers and cultural data keepers within the Okanagan.
“I nominated Frank Marchand as a result of when he hunts or fishes, he shares with people who want it within the band,” she mentioned. “He’s at all times there to assist anybody.
“He is a big a part of the Vernon group as a complete, and I’m proud to name him my cousin.”
Humbled by the nomination, Marchand mentioned he was shocked to seek out out he made somebody’s life higher.
“I used to be so shocked that I made folks’s lives higher. I simply do what I can for folks, only a regular day,” mentioned Marchand.
“I really feel the perfect serving to folks wherever I can.”
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Marchand says it’s important to show conventional data to youth by way of canoe constructing, as he’s persevering with his late father’s ardour for bringing again the canoe tradition.
“My dad mentioned ‘Be certain everyone is aware of make canoes and ensure that all communities have their very own.’ So I’ve been working my greatest on making an attempt to make that occur in all communities,” mentioned Marchand
“I believe that made my dad proud. I’ve been following his dream.”
Along with canoe carving, for the previous 5 years, Marchand has been a part of the Okanagan Nation Response Staff (ONRT).
The ONRT is a bunch of group members who help Indigenous communities within the Okanagan space for suicide schooling and responding to a disaster or any trauma, in keeping with Marchand.
“I’m serving to the nation, in each group, I’m proud to be on the workforce,” he mentioned.
Marchand expresses that it’s fulfilling when he’s serving to group members and passing on conventional data to youth, however added that there’s nonetheless plenty of work that must be completed.
“The youth are going to be the long run leaders, and so they’re going to be those taking up within the years to return,” he mentioned. “We want our youth to hold on these traditions.
“I’m honoured to be nominated, and our nation is beginning to change into stronger and stronger collectively, which feels actually good.”