When a fire left the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, B.C. without a library in 2013, Agassiz-based Britco stepped in to donate a building for a new library. Last week, the Heiltsuk First Nation celebrated the grand opening of the new library facility.
The new library is part of Britco’s Community Literacy Initiative which sees Britco working in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Rotary International and a number of other community partners, to provide First Nations library facilities to remote communities throughout BC.
“We’re glad to be able to help Heiltsuk First Nation rebuild after the fire as part of our Community Literacy Initiative,” said Mike Ridley, president of Britco. “Britco is proud to be working Lieutenant Governor the Hon. Judith Guichon and Government House on projects like these.”
This initiative was started by Hon. Steven Point, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who began working with First Nations in remote locations in B.C. and community partners to support literacy initiatives shortly after his appointment as Lieutenant Governor. Britco has committed to providing a total of 14 community library buildings for this innovative literacy initiative.
“How Britco has been able to transform these buildings into libraries for remote communities is nothing short of remarkable,” said Hon. Steven Point. “Many First Nations communities in B.C. will benefit from their generosity.”
The Heiltsuk First Nation Library boasts shelving made from Heiltsuk territory cedar that was cut, dried, milled and finished in the community. Thousands of books were donated from people all over the world.
“Contributions from community-minded companies like Britco make the challenges related to rebuilding after the fire a reality,” said Marilyn Slett, chief councillor for the Heiltsuk First Nation. “We’re very grateful to have so much support.”