The kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation councillor killed last week was once married to the man who is now accused of her murder.
Kwikwetlem Chief Ron Giesbrecht said Coun. Stephanie Patterson was separated from David Hall, 57.
Yesterday (Aug. 17), Hall was charged with second-degree murder after the body of the mother of three was discovered in a rural part of Mission on Aug. 15.
Patterson, who was elected to council in March, transferred from Musqueam First Nation in 2016 to become a Kwikwetlem member, like Hall.
Described as a survivor of the 60s Scoop — when Indigenous children across the country were stolen from their birth families — Patterson, 44, grew up in foster homes and was adopted twice.
“Her past created a resilient and dedicated spirit which she brought to her role as a Councillor and to her family and to her community,” Giesbrecht wrote in a statement.
On council, she held the Community Services Division portfolio that includes housing and maintenance, health, education, careers and training, and culture and language.
Patterson was a keen learner, the chief said, and excited about her new political role.
“She was passionate about helping all members of our community — our children, youth, adults and Elders — and to improving community participation and engagement to help create a vibrant and self-governing Nation.”
Added fellow Kwikwetlem Coun. George Chaffee, “Stephanie’s vision for the future was to create greater cultural knowledge and economic prosperity for the people of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation. She will be deeply missed by kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Leadership and to all who knew her.”
Before the election this spring, Patterson worked on the reserve for six years at Saskay Land Development. She was also involved in the Nation’s work with Brown & Oakes Archaeology, as well as helped the Nation’s Elders.
Giesbrecht said the Kwikwetlem won’t be commenting on Hall's arrest and charge and is asking for privacy to mourn.
Patterson was reported missing to Coquitlam RCMP last Saturday (Aug. 12) after leaving the reserve with Hall in a truck the night before.
The pair was last spotted at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 11 at the Meadowvale shopping centre on Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows.
The next court appearance for David Frank Hall is on Aug. 23 in Abbotsford.