Huni'xlot (Richelle Williams) is Coast Salish of Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She was born into a family of strong athletic women. Life skills learned early in sport, traditional teachings and the values and ceremonies of her People have given her vision and direction, pride in her roots, connection to the land and chasing her biggest life dreams with relentless pursuit.
Richelle’s story is one of determination, perseverance, mental fitness and dreaming big. Her passion for sport, culture and her sincere desire to build champions on and off the court are truly evident through her words and actions.
A snowboarding accident ignited an injury that would take sport away from Richelle for almost three years. She was sidelined and forced to see life through a new set of eyes, frame of mind and a new left knee. She developed an understanding for internal healing work by fusing her worlds of culture, and fitness. She had to learn how to walk again, and from there, to run. Two reconstructive knee surgeries allowed her time to transform her love to live and breathe competition as her source of motivation.
Entering the next chapter in her life after years of rehabilitation she wore her first uniform, Team BC Volleyball, and renewed sense of pride at the Denver 2006 North American Indigenous Games. She then pursued coaching Juvenile Girls Volleyball at Cowichan 2008. Since her 3-year timeout, she’s taken up the traditional sport of canoe racing, playing rugby for the Senior Women’s team at Cowichan Rugby Football Club, and soccer.
Only weeks before Richelle's snowboarding accident, her aunt and childhood role model was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her aunt is now in remission, and has taught Richelle about recovery, adversity, how to be strong and overcome life altering obstacles. Along with her aunt, Richelle’s late Grandma Sqwasulwut is the very pulse of her inspiration. Her grandmother’s legacy and elegance continue to live on through Richelle as she taught her about the strength of her ancestors and bloodline, and always living by the teachings and way of life of Khowutzun People.
Richelle believes whole heartedly in the power of sport and fitness to heal as a form of medicine, surrounding yourself with people who champion you, teach you to be strong and believe in you.
In addition to her passion for sport and culture, Richelle also surfs, snowboards, and sky dives to feed her daily dose of adrenaline rushes. As a GEN7 Messenger, Richelle aims to meet cultural, health, academic, and life skill demands of young people across British Columbia.
GEN7 Messenger Richelle Williams talks about her family, role models and what the GEN7 Program means to her