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A former residential school site being investigated for possible unmarked graves has been purchased by the Williams Lake First Nation with the help of the provincial government. The First Nation purchased the 5.5-hectare property that used to house the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School for 1.2-million dollars with an 800-thousand-dollar contribution from the province. Chief Willie Sellars says buying the property will ensure the integrity of the ongoing investigation and allow the First Nation to consider how to honour the children who attended the school. Sellars says the return of the property to the control of Indigenous people is an important step to commemorate the legacy of the residential school system.

The mayor of Barriere is has written to Premier David Eby asking for a third-party review of this year’s record-breaking wildfire season. Ward Stamer says it’s important for the provincial government to analyze each fire and the response in order to make improvements for the future. He says the review should include a committee of locally elected officials from areas that were hardest hit as well as wildfire experts and representation from the legislature. The 2023 fire season – already the worst on record in BC – has burned a little over 22,400 square kilometres of land so far.

North Shuswap residents are expected to be allowed back into their homes today after a devastating wildfire forced evacuations last month. Officials with the regional district say a staged re-entry process will begin today allowing residents to get a first look at damage caused by the Bush Creek East wildfire. More than 200 properties were either damaged or destroyed in the blaze. Derek Sutherland, director of the emergency operations centre, says people shouldn’t cancelled emergency supports until they know the state of their property because once those supports are cancelled they cannot be reinstated.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District says it expects the evacuation order for approximately 75 properties will be downgraded to an alert at 7 pm tonight. The change covers properties in the Lower West Adams Lake area within electoral areas “O” and “P” that had been evacuated due to wildfire. The district says Holding Road will be closed to public traffic daily from 7 am to 7 pm until further notice so BC Hydro crews can repair power infrastructure. Officials say being under an evacuation alert means residents should remain prepared to leave their homes on short notice if necessary.

BC’s Green caucus is calling for a universal school food program. Party leader Sonia Furstenau says creating a universal program would ensure all kids get nutritious meals and make life more affordable for families. Furstenau says the program would be accessible to every child, meet comprehensive nutritional guidelines and educate children about healthy eating habits. She says Canada remains the only G7 nation without a national school food program.

BC animal lovers could see their pooch’s picture on the front of a beer can. The provincial chapter of the SPCA has collaborated with Port Moody based Yellow Dog Brewing to bring back the “Make My Pet a Yellow Dog Brewing Star” contest. Pet lovers can enter the contest by raising money for the SPCA from September 5th to the 24th. The top three fundraisers will have their dog featured on a four-pack of a limited-edition beer.