Colville Lake spring carnival honours late Theresa Snowbird Kakfwi

"My auntie loved all her nieces and nephews and we loved her like she was our second mom, she was our favorite auntie," says Sunita Kochon, niece. (Photo courtesy of Sunita Kochon)

The traditional spring carnival in Colville Lake (K’áhbamį́túé ) has been named Snowbird Carnival after the late Theresa Snowbird Kakfwi and her outstanding contributions to community.

“I felt really honoured (and) was really touched that the community wanted to do this,” says Wayne Kakfwi, her husband.

“She really took it to heart…making the carnival a success every year,” he added.

The late Snowbird is remembered for her volunteerism,  work with children, her faith and overall positive demeanour. “I’m sure the community is going to notice a major void (during) this year’s carnival,” says Kakfwi.

Snowbird served her community any way she could whether as a heavy machine operator, recreation coordinator or teacher.

“It’s just the type of person she was,” says Kakfwi.

One of her most coveted skills was making dry geese. Kakfwi calls her the “ultimate carnival auntie” because of her ability to juggle many tasks while also caring for the children.

“Since I could remember, Snowbird was always a big part of our traditional carnivals, she would help out each year,” says, Isabel Orlias main coordinator for the carnival.

Wilbert Kochon is the Grand Chief for the Sahtu and big brother to Snowbird.

“It makes me emotional,” he says, “she had a lot of friends and you’ll see that she’s touched a lot of young women and helped (them) move forward and do things the way they want to do it.”

On the day of her birth, Kochon says, a snowbird landed on his father’s hand. He saw it as a gift.

“I always remember her as that, ” he says. “When I looked at her, I remember my dad’s story and think about that snowbird.”

Snowbird passed away at the age of 45 due to ongoing health issues, which led to organ failure.

The Snowbird Carnival will wrap up on April 14. The celebrations will close with target shooting, a ski-doo race and a contest for who has the tannest skin.

Unfortunately, Kakfwi says he won’t be able to attend the carnival this year. However,  he will be going through old photos and reminiscing in honour of his Snowbird.


A montage of Snowbird’s closest friends and family. (Photo courtesy of Sunita Kochon)

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108