Lytton is a beautiful town located in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. It is located on the territory of the Nlaka'pamux nation. It is where the Thompson River meets the mighty Fraser. It's known as Canada's Hot Spot (for which it made global headlines this week,) and its amazing white water rafting.
Lytton needs our help. After a record breaking 3 days of heat, a fire broke out which has devastated the entire town. Home and businesses have been lost. People are displaced.
My name is Lauren Austen. I moved to Lytton in 2007 . June 30, 2007 actually. 14 years to the day before this devastating fire. During my time there I got engaged and married my husband Rob. We both worked for a local company (Kumsheen Rafting,) he as a guide, me in the office. I completed my final teaching practicum at the elementary school. I taught at the elementary and secondary schools, learned about the local Nlaka'pamux teachings and traditions. We renovated our first home, and when our family grew, rather than leave town for a bigger house, we made our house bigger and welcomed our children home. Rob served as a councillor for the Village, and started his own business in town. The list goes on. Some wonder why a person from Manitoba is raising funds for this small BC town, and all I can say if that if you ever had the opportunity to live in this community, you would want to help too. My family still has many friends in the area that I hold so close. There's biological family, and then there's logical family; the ones you choose to be family, and many of my logical family are in Lytton.
We can't help with man power, but maybe we can help people rebuild their lives on the other side of this devastating fire. I could not sit by last night as events were unfolding and do nothing, so I started this page.
My plan is to get the funds to the Village of Lytton, Lytton First Nation and/or the TNRD, as the Village and LFN see fit. Being that the offices for both these entities have burnt to the ground, it is understandable that it may be some time before it is worked out just where the funds will go. As this is an ever-changing situation, I have reached out to the Village of Lytton and Lytton First Nation to arrange the best way to get the funds where they need to be. People come first, and I know those in charge are currently busy ensuring evacuees are safe and trying to connect families who are separated. I will update as I know more. I am hoping to transfer the funds directly from GoFundMe to an account closer to Lytton once the Village and LFN (and any other parties deemed an interest by these local leaders) have been in touch.