Members of the British Columbia Muslim Association (BCMA) and leadership of the Lytton First Nation met on the steps of Chilliwack city hall on Friday for a special moment.
The BCMA and other interfaith groups raised funds and met at city hall to present a cheque for $35,450 to Lytton First Nation Chief Janet Webster and band councillor Kevin Duncan.
“Several interfaith groups, charities and NGOs have committed to assisting the people of Lytton and the Lytton First Nations community in rebuilding and securing immediate aid (food, shelter, clothing, etc.),” the groups said in a press release.
Mayor Ken Popove was at the ceremony although city hall was not involved, they just facilitated the meeting. The reason being that Chief Webster is one of several people displaced from Lytton after the wildfire that destroyed 90 per cent of the community, including all of the buildings on the reserve land in the village.
Chief Webster is staying in Chilliwack while Duncan is in Abbotsford.
Webster said there are about 2,400 members of the Lytton band in total, including those living off reserve. Because of the wildfire, approximately 700 band members were left homeless and are being housed in various capacities in Cache Creek, Merritt, and across the Lower Mainland from Hope to Surrey.
“We are still not safe to go back,” she said.
The donation received on Friday was initiated by the chairman of BCMA, Al Jamia Masjid, Asad Gondal and was spearheaded by the BCMA vice-president of media and public relations Tariq Tyab with support from BCMA executives, including Malik Arfan and BCMA president Iltaf Sahib.
Contributing organizations include the BCMA, Human Concern International (HCI), the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF), Islamic Relief Canada (IRC), the Muslim Food Bank & Community Services (MFBCS), and Foundation for a Path Forward.
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