A bear crosses the Fraser River east of the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge

Arms wide open at Cheam

Popkum area band welcomes fishermen to their territory

On the north side of the Fraser River, a small crowd gathered to celebrate the beginning of a new venture. The Cheam First Nation band is opening their arms wide to visitors in their territory — pushing aside past conflicts and animosity with other fishing groups — by opening the Cheam Fishing Village.

Everyone will be welcome. Everyone can stay and feel at home, said Ernie Victor.

On the south side of the river, almost across from the new campsite area, a bear gently glides into the Fraser for a swim. Everyone moves to catch a sight of the animal, barely visible as he crosses the water.

“It’s a good sign,” someone says.

“A strong spirit,” says another.

Everyone watches as he lumbers out of the water and across the sandbar, before disappearing behind trees and into the water once again.

They say if you want to find a fishing spot, just watch for bears, Victor says.

But all fisherman who call these reaches of the Fraser River home know that the area is a salmon smorgasbord. Now, they’ll enjoy unfettered access to a boat launch area and a reliable place to set up an RV, picnic tables included.

“People come to our community and they get taken care of,” Victor said. “This is taking it another step forward, we are opening our doors, our land, our sacred space.”

Following a traditional welcome song, council member Lincoln Douglas joined Ed George, vice-president of the BC Wildlife Federation, and Theresa Fresco from the Fraser Basin Council on the river’s edge. Together, the trio cast out a ceremonial line.

It was a symbol of their new partnership and willingness to work together, a concept that’s also the impetus behind a FBC initiative called Harmony on the Fraser.

For George, the campsite has been a long time coming.

“I’ve been going down here for years (on a boat) and saying I want a campsite right there,” he said. “And here it is.”

He is hoping to come back to fish for real, once the fisheries announces this summer’s opening.

The new campsite includes 45 sites, a fire pit, boat launch, day parking, riverside trails and picnic tables. It’s the newest venture among the 200 aboriginally-owned businesses in Sto:lo territory.

Staying at the campsite ranges from $25 to $40 a night, and will directly benefit the Cheam First Nation band.

Access to the site is via the eastern Whelpton Road, keeping east on Dyke Road. A short road has been upgraded to access the newly built campsite.

Cheam has also upgraded its Cheam Trading Post, a wholesale and retail outlet for salmon. It’s also a new place to pick up soft fruits grown in Okanagan Indian Band orchards.

For more information, visit www.cheamfishingvillage.com.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Another snowfall warning for Lower Mainland

Another 5-10 cm expected for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast

Harrison to participate in inter-municipal business licence program

Construction companies and related businesses will be able to work across the Fraser Valley in 2020

Saskia and Darrel kick off spring tour with Chilliwack concert

Stories of the Great Plains delivered in Gaelic, French and more

RCMP officer reaching out to youth about intimate partner violence

Chilliwack officer and friends of Maple Batalia team up to encourage bystanders to speak up

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

North BC broken axle derailment could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man in wheelchair following police shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

Most Read