The Tseshaht First Nation on central Vancouver Island has received $5 million from the B.C. government to purchase land for future housing developments.
The funding was announced Thursday and will be used by the Nation to identify parcels of land that can be used for housing projects.
The Tseshaht First Nation has also started a working group with the B.C. government and City of Port Alberni to “ensure a co-ordinated, collaborative and informed approach to tackling the housing crisis,” the province said in a release Thursday.
In addition to the $5 million in funding for land purchases, the province has also committed $150,000 to support the development of the Nation’s housing plans.
The Tseshaht First Nation and the province say future housing projects will benefit the entire region.
“Tseshaht would like to say, ‘Kleco, kleco’ to the Province of British Columbia, our partners and team for making today a reality,” said Tseshaht Elected Chief Councillor Ken Watts, also known as Wahmeesh, in a statement Thursday.
“The resources in this agreement support getting land back to our Nation, addressing the housing crisis for our members and the entire valley, future economic development, and provides pathways for collaboration between our First Nation, the City of Port Alberni, the province and many more,” he said.
The Tseshaht First Nation is located near Port Alberni. It has 1,186 members and is part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, which represents 14 First Nations on Vancouver Island and parts of the B.C. coast.
Earlier this week, the Tseshaht First Nation announced it was working with the Hupacasath First Nation and the City of Port Alberni to develop a culturally historic site in the municipality.
The first phase of the project will soon get underway and includes the three groups developing a plan on what the historic site will be.
Once the planning phase is complete, a master plan will be developed, which will then be integrated into Port Alberni’s official community plan.