Two First Nations, city partner to build culturally historic site in Port Alberni

Two First Nations, city partner to build culturally historic site in Port Alberni

A collaborative project between Tseshaht First Nation, Hupacasath First Nation, and the City of Port Alberni will soon get underway to establish a culturally historic site in the city.

The site, the Clutesi Haven Marina, sits in the tidal fresh waters of the Somass River and the three governments are working together to envision how the space can be redeveloped to benefit the community and visitors.

The first phase of the project will include a working group from Tseshaht, Hupacasath, and Port Alberni to envision what the culturally historic site should look like.

“Tseshaht knows that by working together there is nothing that we cannot achieve; our three governments working together is a sign that the world has changed as we all work towards sustainable economic development to benefit everyone in our territories including the Alberni Valley,” says Chief Councillor Wahmeesh (Ken Watts) of the Tseshaht First Nation.

Previously, the three have worked together to create a community experience at the marina that included food trucks and Indigenous art.

“This project builds on past efforts between the Tseshaht, Hupacasath, and City to create a destination attraction in the Alberni Valley,” says Sharie Minions mayor of Port Alberni.

“We’re looking at the challenges, issues, and opportunities through the lens of each of the three Councils and our senior staff. The idea is to develop a truly shared land use vision for the site that is a long-term financially sustainable partnership.”

The Island Coastal Economic Trust has committed $30,000 for the first phase to help bring the idea to fruition.

“This funding is assisting our three governments to work together to bring our vision for Clutesi Haven to a reality,” says Chief Councillor Brandy Lauder, Hupacasath First Nation.

Once complete, the master plan will be integrated into the Official Community Plan for Port Alberni.

“This project is very exciting for the Trust to be supporting. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Tseshaht, Hupacasath, and Port Alberni in this work of sharing responsibility to form a consensus vision between three governments through collaborative leadership,” says Aaron Stone, chair of the Island Coastal Economic Trust.


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