Frank Marchand. (Submitted photo)

Humble roots keep Community Champion grounded

He has overcome hardships and injury and forges on, trying to make the world a better, safer place.

An interview with Frank Marchand reveals a man who is generous, kind, funny and unbelievably resilient.

He has overcome hardships and injury and forges on, trying to make the world a better, safer place for others. His honesty, humility and strength shine through as he shares stories of his life.

Frank is fiercely proud of being Okanagan and feels very connected to the land he has spent his whole life on.

“I was born and raised here and I’m not planning to go anywhere else,” he says simply.

RELATED: Vernon Community Champion: Respect works here

RELATED: Vernon Community Champion keeping roots alive

Growing up, Frank lived through hard times and was on his own taking care of his younger brother when he was 18 and his brother 16.

“I remember back then starving. We would go hunting and lived on rice some weeks,” he recalls.

Today he makes sure that whenever anyone in his community faces hardship, he delivers food and supplies and tries to help with chores around their home.

“I make sure no one goes hungry. One year I fed 33 families,” he says proudly. “I bring them deer meat, fish, hides, or whatever they need.”

Frank is committed to protecting the land and keeping it as natural as possible for the next seven generations and believes in hunting and fishing in moderation, along with restocking, to ensure a food supply in the future.

Frank spent many years teaching ethnobotany to local school children, sharing the knowledge he learned from his father and Elders in the community as well as his own readings and research about local plants and animals.

Frank also worked as a counsellor and social worker, with a focus on helping families stay together.

A serious car accident in 2008 changed everything and resulted in a severe brain injury, as well as physical damage to his legs and knees. Frank spent two years healing; however, his injuries have an ongoing impact on his life and effectively forced his retirement.

Today he focuses on doing what he loves to do: sharing First Nations traditions and knowledge with children and youth. He teaches native games like Double Ball (the first form of Lacrosse) and still teaches ethnobotany to select schools. He has also taken up teaching canoe building as a way to commemorate his father, an artist and master carver.

Frank speaks highly of his father and is thankful for the many skills he taught him.

“He taught me everything I know — how to build log houses and canoes, how to hunt and fish, work on cars and get firewood and more. “

“When he was teaching me those things, I swore I would never use them. But I absolutely depend on those skills now,” he says ruefully.

Another lesson his father taught him is poignantly true for Frank. “He always drilled it in our heads ‘You never learn just one skill because that one skill can let you down and you still need to keep making money for your family. You need more skills to back it up.’,” quotes Frank. “That’s why I do the variety of things I do now.”

For the many challenges Frank has faced, it’s incredibly heart-warming to see how purposeful and generous he is with his skills and talents, sharing and giving back to the community he loves so much.

To report a typo, email: newstips@vernonmorningstar.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ben Sures returns to Vernon stage

Entertaining singer brings stories to Record City, with opening local talent Ernest Anyway

Mobile needle exchange considered in Vernon

City looks at options to combat issues of discarded needles

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Public input wanted on important ‘business’: Regional District North Okanagan

Bathroom concepts for Okanagan Rail Trail to be discussed at open house tomorrow

$24M invested in North Okanagan wastewater recovery project

Four years of hard work paid off after government invests big money into water project

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read