As a resident of one of the busiest parts of Duncan, Katelyn Beale gets a unique opportunity to observe the goings-on in the city.
"I see how people interact and what they do," she said.
Now in her last year of the criminology program at Vancouver Island University, she wants to put that perspective, and that of a young First Nations woman, to work as a member of Duncan city council.
It was through her studies at VIU that Beale picked up an interest in politics. She has been examining crime rates in the city, and notes that the No. 1 source of crime is property crime, and No. 2 is violence. She is hoping to work with at-risk youth to get at the roots of crime in Duncan and the Cowichan Valley.
Also of interest to Beale are affordable housing, as well as environmental concerns, specifically citing recycling and the Cowichan River watershed.
Beale currently works as a research assistant at VIU, and volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is also in the process of becoming a foster parent.
Beale's First Nations background includes Cowichan and Penelakut heritage, and she has worked with both the Tsawout and Malahat tribes as a youth program coordinator, teaching about things as varied as the Douglas Treaties, budgeting, and life skills through a curriculum she created herself.