The provincial government announced support for Agassiz-Harrison as the tourism industry aims to recover following the pandemic.
On Thursday (Aug. 18), the province announced $1.5 million in rural development grants for the Agassiz-Harrison area.
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon said the grants would support many Indigenous tourism attractions and communities.
“The Fraser Valley is home to a wonderful Indigenous tourism industry, and that’s why we’re supporting the great work of local Indigenous communities as this sector continues to grow and expand,” she stated. “I am pleased to see this boost from the Province, and I can’t wait to see the results as these improvements will build on all of the splendour the region has to offer.”
As part of the grants, the Sts’ailes Lhawathet Lalem (healing house in Halq’eméylem) meeting and retreat will receive $500,000 for upgrades. Sts’ailes Development Corporation executive office Kandice Charlie said the funding would help make the facility more sustainable and efficient.
“The land where the centre is located is a culturally historic landmark for our people; therefore, we appreciate all efforts around the table to make this possible,” Charlie added.
The Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation received $350,000 to expand the Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park, including a picnic shelter, carving shed, event amenities, new nature trails and more.
“The Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation is very grateful to have received funding through the rural development grants,” said Sharron Young, managing director, Skawahlook First Nation. “Our projects are now underway to install all necessary infrastructure for a permanent public bathroom and preparing for the additional amenities to be added to the park.”
The Kilby Heritage Society received $650,000 for a path-to-sustainability project to improve upon and expand both the Kilby Historic Site and the Kilby Campground. This would include connecting the properties with an interpretive trail.
Kilby Heritage Society executive director Jo-Anne Leon called the funding “a wonderful opportunity.”
“Walkers, nature enthusiasts and recreational cyclists will enjoy combining nature with history,” Leon stated. “On behalf of the Kilby Heritage Society, thank you for this opportunity.”
This grant funding is part of a larger initiative known as StrongerBC Economic Plan, a long-term economic development initiative focused on inclusion and sustainability.