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Upper Nicola Band looking to bring spirits home this weekend.
 
The band is holding the "Calling Our Spirits Back" healing walk, with the three-day event aiming to heal old wounds inflicted by the former residential school system.
 
"It's going to be a relay. We will have group walks, runners, horseback riders, there will be some canoeing as well."
 
A victim himself, Chief Harvey McLeod is hopeful those participating this weekend can find some sort of solace.
 
"I know with what we will experience as individuals, and familes, we're going to bring unity back into our community."
 
The healing walk begins today at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, and concludes Sunday at Douglas Lake.
 
Across Canada from 1874 to 1996, under a government policy aboriginal children were taken away from their communities and forced into residential schools in order to assimilate.
 
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Nicola Tribal Association doing their part for area rivers this weekend.
 
BC Rivers Day is Sunday, and in order to mark the occasion the NTA's Tiffany Wimbush says they will be cleaning up the banks of the Coldwater River, and planting trees along eroded banks of the Nicola River in Merritt. 
 
"We've had a lot of flooding that has destroyed the banks of both rivers. There is a need this year, and Pacific Salmon Foundation provided us with funding. And, if it goes well, it could become an annual thing."
 
Wimbush says they plan to get started at 9:30am at Lions Park.
 
Volunteers are needed and lunch will be provided.
 
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Cooler conditions prompting the City of Merritt to reopen trails.
 
Merritt Fire Rescue Department Chief David Tomkinson confrims as of noon today the Tom Lacey Memorial Trail, Norgaard Lookout and Windy Canyon Trail are all once again open for use.
 
"With the recent cooler temperatures and little bit of precipitation we have had, it has allowed us to rescind the closures." 
 
Despite the trail closure being rescinded, Tomkinson says the Fire Danger Rating is still at HIGH, and those using the trails still need to exercise caution.
 
The trail closures went into effect back on Aug 3rd, due to the EXTREME wildfire risk.
 
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Nicola Valley Indigenous Court set to start operating in October.
 
Local lawyer Cliff Thorstenson says the announcement follows nearly two years of planning to have a First Nations Court established in Merritt.
 
"We have been working for a while on this. We have had as many as nine Elders that have expressed an interest in participating, and all have taken the training, and most participated in a mock trail earlier this year." 
 
The Nicola Valley Indigenous Court, which will sit once a month, and is now the fifth operating in the province, with First Nations Courts already existing in New Westminster, Duncan, Kamloops and North Vancouver.
 
"It looks like the first sitting will be October 25th. And, there is also a grand opening that will take place on October 10th." 
 
A First Nation Court deals with provincial court matters, but an Elders advisory panel, trained in the court system with knowledge of traditions and cultural practices, presides over the process.
 
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Tips from the public proving valuable to Merritt RCMP.
 
Since an appeal was made through the local media back in July, S/Sgt Sheila White says tips from the public have led to three high-profile drug busts.
 
"We are finding we are getting a lot more people phoning into us, offering tips on a variety of things, not just drug investigations. Also on suspicious occurrences, and other things. They all add up, and hope they keep coming."
 
Merritt RCMP seized a significant quantity of illicit drugs from the three-high profile busts.
 
If you have a tip, White instructs to either call the detachment, or Crime Stoppers, which could lead to a financial reward.
 
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