Rural Dividend grants support First Nations communities

By Mandy Vocke
April 11, 2019 - 3:49pm

BRITISH COLUMBIA— Cheslatta Carrier, Nadleh Whut'en and Stellat'en First Nations are being awarded a combined total of $442,495 for three projects under the Special Circumstances provision of the BC Rural Dividend.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation is being awarded $170,500 to assess the damage from recent wildfires, prioritize mitigation work and provide wildfire recovery training to members. The project will support other work to repair damage from recent wildfires and prepare the area for future wildfires.

Nadleh Whut'en First Nation is being awarded $239,860 for the feasibility and planning phase of an emergency centre of excellence to support large-scale disaster response. 

Stellat'en First Nation is being awarded $32,135 for a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a recreational vehicle campground and an eco-tourism guiding company for the Nation.

“We’re aware that some rural communities are facing difficulties in the aftermath of severe wildfires,” Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson says. “We have been working to prioritize certain project applications to help Indigenous and rural communities ensure they remain healthy and economically viable places to live and raise families.”

The ?Esdilagh First Nation is being awarded nearly $215,000 under the Special Circumstances provision of the BC Rural Dividend as well.

?Esdilagh First Nation’s project will create a strategy to develop and maintain a 30-kilometre network of nature trails and will design and build a 10-kilometre demonstration trail in the community. 

“We are looking forward to the trail project this year. Providing opportunities close to home, recreational or economic, greatly contributes to the quality of life in the community,” ?Esdilagh Chief Victor Roy Stump says. “We need this focus after the 2017 wildfires and the residual ongoing impacts they have had on our people.”  

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