Dickens, Richard “Dick”

Born March 12, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, died March 22, 2009 in Kamloops. Dick emigrated to Canada with parents and sister in October 1956. He Graduated from U.B.C.’s new faculty of music in 1964, and taught music in Revelstoke before settling in Kamloops. In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Dick was an outspoken political activist who rallied to keep the Coquihalla Highway from being privatized, and refused to compromise his ideals and morals as a school board trustee.

He lashed out at the provincial government for inadequate education funding. After he resigned from the school board, he turned his energies toward helping the homeless. He became an active member of a group called Changing the Face of Poverty, which is bringing together social, political, religious and health agencies to find ways that will truly make a difference for the plight of the homeless in Kamloops (from Kamloops Daily News).

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Turner, Rick

Turner, Rick

Rick Turner (born in Trail, B.C. 1947) is the oldest of 4 children born to English parents. Rick worked as a smelterman at Cominco mine and attended Selkirk College part time, later completing a teaching degree at UBC in 1973. He taught high school English in Masset, QCI, Barriere and Kamloops before retiring. Rick became active in the union after his first year of teaching but his social activism began in his teens when he became aware of the damaging stereotypes against friends who were Italians, Mohawks, and against his sisters.

He is a long-time NDP supporter and became president of the Kamloops-North Thompson riding association in 2009. He and Fawn Knox began the Kamloops Health Coalition in 2006 which now has over 200 members (from an autobiography).

Tennant, Paul

Tennant, Paul

Paul was born in Saskatchewan and raised in Kamloops. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, he obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago as a Woodrow Wilson National Fellow. He then spent a year in the United States Congress as the first Canadian to hold a Congressional Fellowship. Paul has taught at the University of British Columbia since 1966, specializing in local government, British Columbia government and politics, and the politics of aboriginal peoples. He has been adviser to First Nations and municipalities in Alberta, the Yukon, and British Columbia, to the British Columbia, Yukon, and federal governments, to the British Columbia Claims Task Force, the British Columbia Treaty Commission, the Council for Yukon First Nations, and to aboriginal land councils in Australia. Paul is author of Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: The Indian Land Question in British Columbia (UBC Press, 1990).

Riis, Nelson

Riis, Nelson

Nelson served Kamloops and region longer than any other politician, over 25 years continuous service as MP, Kamloops City Councilor, and School Board Trustee. He was M.P. for Kamloops (New Democratic Party). He has a B.Ed. and an M.A. in geography from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Riis has taught in schools, colleges, and universities. He was alderman on the Council of the City of Kamloops from 1973 to 1978, director of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and trustee for Kamloops School District from 1978 until his election to Parliament in 1980. After his election to Parliament, Riis has been the New Democratic Party’s spokesperson for Small Business, Regional Expansion, and Finance. Then he was Parliamentary House Leader for the Federal Caucus. Following his defeat in 2000 he entered business and is vice-president of Rockport which makes engineered concrete homes for the developing world. (From website)

Weir, Joan

Weir, Joan

Joan was born in Calgary, Alberta, April 21, 1928 After graduating from the University of Manitoba, Joan began her career writing radio and TV scripts for children, but soon moved into writing novels for juvenile and young adult readers. A dog and a horse lover she admits to having included one or the other in many of her books. Three of her young adult novels, Sixteen is spelled O-U-C-H, Storm Rider and Secret at Westwind have received international recognition and have been translated into Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian. In addition to her juvenile and young adult novels Joan has published a number of short stories, three plays for children’s theatre, and six non-fiction adult histories. It is the research for these histories that has prompted her two most recent young adult historical novels, The Brideship and Maybe Tomorrow. For many years Joan taught Creative Writing at the University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops. (From website)