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Library program targets Snuneymuxw for outlet

NANAIMO – Write to Read plans to create a new library on Snuneymuxw First Nation territory to help with literacy.

A new library is booked for Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Write to Read, a provincewide effort to stock books close to home for First Nations communities, is looking to create a new building for the Snuneymuxw with help from the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and Herold Engineering.

The initiative, started by former lieutenant governor of B.C. Steven Point, is all about improving literacy and library access. Fifteen facilities will have cropped up in B.C. communities by the end of this year.

Those familiar with Write to Read say the libraries become a community gathering place where children can read to elders, and elders can teach traditional language.

A project is expected to roll out for Snuneymuxw First Nation next year.

“What we found is some of our reserves that are not remote still are in need of a library,” said Bob Blacker, Write to Read coordinator, adding Snuneymuxw is one of those communities and has asked for a library.

While it’s not yet known where the facility will go, trailers have been set aside for the new build and fundraising is expected to get underway for supplies, furniture and building materials.

The Young Professionals of Nanaimo will donate the proceeds of their All Sport Challenge to the cause, which they call one of their biggest legacy projects to date.

Daniel Martinez, newly appointed president of the YPN, said he personally wanted to find a way to help aboriginal graduation rates and sees this as a good fit.

“I’m extremely excited because of the response from the [Snuneymuxw First Nation]. If it is important  to them, it should be important to everyone,” he said.

Mike Herold of Herold Engineering plans to donate design work. He has helped with other Write to Read projects and said it’s a cause he believes in.

For more information on the Young Professionals group, please visit