Tsleil-Waututh Nation delivers 170 Christmas turkey hampers to members

·2 min read

The usual festive celebrations may not be going ahead, but Tsleil-Waututh Nation has ensured each North Vancouver on-reserve household will be able to enjoy a traditional feast of their own come Christmas.

On Dec. 18, TWN community development staff and volunteers helped deliver 170 frozen turkeys and hampers with all the ingredients needed for a Christmas dinner, including some treats and traditional foods, to members.

Generally, at this time of the year, Tsleil-Waututh members would be gathering for community feasts, Christmas parties, and Santa visits, but because of COVID-19 provincial health order restrictions, it wasn’t a possibility.

“Recognizing Santa has some travelling challenges this year, we’ve had to innovate,” said Angela George, director of community development for TWN.

“We’re doing things differently and trying to find innovative ways to still provide for the community. We recognize the challenges through COVID, especially at a time where we generally come together as families and as a community.

“We can’t do that, so we have a love offering that’s going to each door through the turkey dinner food hamper.”

George said during COVID; they had recognized a great need for food security, which had sparked several initiatives, including an increase in community gardens, traditional food sourcing, and household in-reach.

“We have been doing household in-reach since March, not only to provide food security but also to do a wellness check-in just to see how people are doing,” she said.

“Many people lost jobs due to COVID, and we have had some deaths in the community, and that is ultra-challenging when we are accustomed to coming together and really supporting each other through times of need.

“We were not able to do that during COVID, so it’s nice to go and do a face-to-face check-in to make sure people are doing OK and spend a little extra time with them.”

She said the community development team had ramped up their support efforts to ensure everyone felt safe and connected over the holidays.

“It is really nice to connect with people and make referrals, just to let them know there are options,” she said.

She hopes everyone enjoys their Christmas Day and their hampers with their loved ones.

The hampers were made possible by donations from TWN community partners, sponsors, and organizations in conjunction with TWN staff donations.

Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News