A ceremony at the Snuneymuxw long house in 2019. The First Nation has been granted $395,000 from the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to expand its long house. (News Bulletin file photo)

A ceremony at the Snuneymuxw long house in 2019. The First Nation has been granted $395,000 from the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to expand its long house. (News Bulletin file photo)

Snuneymuxw First Nation gets grant to upgrade long house

First Peoples’ Cultural Council grant will allow expansion of cultural facility

A key part of Snuneymuxw First Nation culture will be renovated thanks to a grant of close to $400,000.

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council announced last week that Snuneymuxw was granted $395,000 in heritage infrastructure program money for upgrades to its long house, situated on its land in Cedar.

Snuneymuxw Coun. Bill Yoachim, acting chief, deferred questions about the expansion project to Joan Brown, Snuneymuxw chief administrative officer, but told the News Bulletin he is pleased with the successful application. There was a need for improvements, he said, and preserving the long house in an era of truth and reconciliation is “timely and appropriate.”

“The long house has been [part of] our way of life since pre-contact and it’s still here,” said Yoachim. “It brings so much culture and … it’s our way of being. In the modern era, we’re really fortunate and honoured and proud at the same time that our culture’s alive and it’s a perfect example.”

Brown was contacted for comment.

Another area First Nation receiving money was Stz’uminus First Nation. The Stz’uminus Education Society, based in Ladysmith, was granted $392,090 for the Stl’ul’iqulh Q’ulets’ Thuthiqut Shelh transportation and land-based learning trail.

The council is a Crown corporation governed by Indigenous nations with a directive to strengthen First Nations culture in B.C., according to a press release. In all, the council granted over $5.4 million to 16 projects across the province, aimed at conserving, repairing and developing First Nations heritage infrastructure, said the press release.

The money was made possible through the B.C. government’s 150 Time Immemorial grant program to the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, the press release noted.

“The 150 Time Immemorial funding … is a positive step forward in the continued journey of reconciliation,” said Lorna Wanosts’a7 Williams, foundation board chairperson, in the press release. “Long-term support remains key in revitalizing Indigenous heritage and maintaining knowledge on the land by creating spaces that continue to connect younger generations with the past, present and future.”

READ ALSO: Transitional housing to be provided for Snuneymuxw members



karl.yu@nanaimobulletin.com

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