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BCAFN Celebrates World Water Day With The Tsilhqot’in Nation

(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC – Mar. 22, 2019) – The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is celebrating World Water Day with the Tŝilhqot’in and other First Nations in Vancouver today. Chiefs and supporters are holding ceremonies and rallies in events during the day as they stand to protect this life sustaining resource. Many Canadians live their daily lives without safe water which contributes to their struggle to survive and thrive. In addition, First Nations’ attempts to protect and improve water on their territories are often ignored or treated with hostility. It is time to tackle the water crisis in Canada and confront the pressures and policies that are giving life to and prolonging the issue.

“First Nations are deeply concerned for our water sources, and every living thing that depends on these waters, in our territories. We have been persistently experiencing resistance from government and industry to listen to our words and address the ongoing environmental injustices,” states Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “We are sounding the alarm to protect water as a precious resource in a rapidly changing world where we stand to lose everything.”

Significantly, for a decade the Tŝilhqot’in Nation have been rigorously opposing the Taseko New Prosperity mining project, located 185 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake, to protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake). With two rejections of this proposal by the Federal Government the Tŝilhqot’in continue to face this direct threat to their place of ceremony and healing, and to their culture.

For further information, contact:
Annette Schroeter, Communications Officer, phone (250)962-1603, BC Assembly of First Nations.


Nuxalk Nation celebrates completion of new and renovated housing

March 22, 2019 – Bella Coola, Nuxalk Territory, British Columbia – Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is making important investments to improve housing conditions in First Nations communities, reduce overcrowding, and support the health and well-being of First Nations residents.

Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Nuxalk Nation on the completion of a new six-unit housing complex and the renovation of 10 homes in the community.

The new homes are suited for the local climate and were designed and built by the community to meet their immediate needs. To assist with the project and support the development of the community’s workforce, Nuxalk set up a carpentry program that matched students with skilled workers.

Through Budget 2016, Indigenous Services Canada contributed $1.4 million for the new housing and an additional $250,000 for the renovations.


“Congratulations to Nuxalk Nation on their new and renovated housing. In the process of building and renovating quality homes in their community, Nuxalk took the opportunity to set up a carpentry program that matched students with skilled workers so that they could develop key professional skills. This will help support community development now and into the future.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“The Nuxalk Nation is extremely proud of the new and renovated buildings that have been completed. Our new buildings were constructed to combat the wet west coast, and therefore will have a longer life span and provide higher quality living for residents. We accomplished three goals through the housing projects:

  • 16 carpentry apprentices completed their third year;
  • contributed significantly to reducing our shortfall in housing stock; and
  • units were constructed to a higher standard than the National Building code.”

Chief Wally Webber
Nuxalk Nation

Quick facts

  • Nuxalk Nation is located in Bella Coola, British Columbia, and has a registered population of about 1,700, with 900 living on the reserve.
  • The new housing complex includes two three-bedroom row homes.
  • Budget 2016 provided $554.3 million over two years to address urgent housing needs on reserves.
  • Through Budget 2017 and Budget 2018, the government is investing $1.5 billion in dedicated funding over 10 years to support new constructions and repairs, as well as the development of distinctions-based housing strategies for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada


Opportunity to provide input on Royal BC Museum modernization

March 22, 2019

VICTORIA – British Columbians are invited to share their ideas for a modernized Royal BC Museum as the Province moves forward with planning to preserve B.C.’s natural and human history for generations to come.

“The Royal BC Museum is one of B.C.’s greatest cultural icons, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It offers people the chance to explore our social and environmental history and discover the events and people that shape our province,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “We know how important the museum is to people in B.C., and that’s why we are moving forward with plans to modernize and protect this irreplaceable collection. I’m looking forward to hearing people’s views on what a modern, accessible provincial museum could be.”

Since first opening its doors in 1967, millions of residents and visitors have visited the museum to learn about B.C.’s history. The museum’s extensive collections of specimens, artifacts and cultural treasures have outgrown the available space, and the building no longer meets today’s accessibility or seismic standards. Government is undertaking a study to assess options for a modernized museum.

Between April 1 and June 27, 2019, people can share their ideas for the future of the Royal BC Museum, either online or in person.


Raymond Protti, chair, Royal BC Museum —

“People throughout the province and spanning multiple generations have fond memories of discovering B.C.’s past and present at the Royal BC Museum. I’m excited that we are embarking on this project with the government to preserve the museum’s vast collection and create a vision for a museum experience that will continue to engage people for generations to come.”

Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria —

“The City of Victoria is excited about the provincial government’s initiative to engage British Columbians on how they’d like to see the Royal BC Museum modernized. The museum is home to British Columbia’s priceless treasures and conveys our stories to the world. Modernizing the museum will foster deeper understanding and enjoyment of our cultural and natural heritage, in addition to safeguarding and broadening access to its collections.”

Brenda Baptiste, chair, Indigenous Tourism BC —

“Modernizing the Royal BC Museum gives us all the incredible opportunity to improve cultural understanding of Indigenous peoples in B.C., both in the past and today. We are looking forward to engaging with the government and the museum to create a museum experience that showcases Indigenous traditions, histories and cultures to people from all over the world.”

Paul Nursey, CEO, Destination Greater Victoria —

“Destination Greater Victoria is pleased to see the provincial government start consultations about future investments in Royal BC Museum. We have a longstanding business partnership with the Royal BC Museum and recognize its role as an iconic attraction in driving visitor demand for Greater Victoria. We are thrilled by the opportunities that this could bring for Indigenous tourism, conventions and conferences, new, innovative experiences for visitors and more.”

Quick Facts:

  • Details of public meetings will be available and online comments can be provided from April 1 to June 27, 2019, at:
  • Regional public meetings will be held in May and June in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George, Terrace, Fort St. John and Cranbrook.
  • The Royal BC Museum holds over seven million objects, archives and specimens of B.C.’s natural and human history, in addition to the provincial government archives.
  • More than 880,000 people visit the museum each year, including 140,000 youth.
  • Outreach and programs offered by the museum reach more than 40 communities each year.

Learn More:

For more information about the museum, visit:

Contact:Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
250 208-4309


Budget 2019: Helping Canadians find and keep good jobs

March 22, 2019             Victoria, British Columbia             Employment and Social Development Canada

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has focused on strengthening and growing the middle class and offering real help to people working hard to join it. This plan is working: Since November 2015, hard-working Canadians have created more than 900,000 new jobs.

Budget 2019 is the next step in the Government’s plan to make sure middle-class Canadians benefit from Canada’s economic growth. That includes helping more Canadians find an affordable home, prepare for good, well-paying jobs, retire with confidence and afford the prescription drugs they need.

Today, in Victoria, The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, highlighted how investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, would help Canadians find and keep good jobs in a rapidly changing job market and in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Through Budget 2019, the Government is taking concrete action for students and workers of all ages by:

  • Helping workers gain new skills with the creation of the new Canada Training Benefit, a benefit that will give workers money to help pay for training, provide four weeks of income support during training every four years and, with the cooperation of the provinces and territories, ensure that leave provisions are introduced so that workers can take the time away from work to pursue training without risking their job security.
  • Making post-secondary education more affordable by lowering interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans, and making the six-month grace period interest-free after a student loan borrower leaves school.
  • Providing more on-the-job learning to young Canadians by creating up to 84,000 new student work placements by 2023–24, a significant step toward making sure every student who wants to gain relevant, real-world experience can find a work placement.
  • Enhancing support for apprenticeship, encouraging more people to consider training and working in the skilled trades.
  • Creating meaningful opportunities through the Canada Service Corps for young Canadians to learn new skills, gain leadership experience and contribute to their communities.
  • Supporting Indigenous post-secondary education with measures designed to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis students obtain the skills and experiences they need to succeed, leading to stronger economic growth for all Canadians.
  • Creating opportunities for young Canadians to travel, work or study abroad and gain skills needed to succeed in a global economy.

Canadians are among the most-skilled, highest-educated workers in the world, and through Budget 2019, the Government is ensuring Canadians can keep their skills relevant so that they can build good careers and benefit from Canada’s growing economy.


“The nature of work is changing around the world. Jobs are becoming more skill-intensive, and workers will need a greater ability to adapt throughout their careers. With Budget 2019, the Government is helping Canadian workers—present and future—adapt to the economy of tomorrow. Our investments will ensure Canadians have the education, skills and experience they need to find and keep the good jobs being created each year.”
– Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that about 1 in 10 Canadian jobs are at high risk of automation, with about 1 in three 3 likely to experience significant change as a result of automation.
  • The Government has already introduced a number of measures to help Canadian workers find and keep good jobs today, and prepare for the new good jobs of tomorrow:
    • Budget 2016 grew Canada Student Grant amounts by 50 percent and expanded eligibility criteria, making it possible for more students to receive assistance they don’t have to pay back.
    • In Budget 2017, the Government introduced its Innovation and Skills Plan—an agenda that focuses on people and addresses the changing nature of the economy.
    • Skills Boost, a series of measures announced in Budgets 2017 and 2018, plays a key role in ensuring the Government is able to provide skills development programs that help adult learners succeed in the workforce.
    • Budget 2018 introduced a Pre-Apprenticeship Program, which helps people who are currently underrepresented in the trades—including women, young people, Indigenous People, newcomers and people with disabilities—prepare for an apprenticeship.
    • Budget 2018 also introduced the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women to support women entering, progressing and completing their training in Red Seal trades where women are underrepresented.
  • The Government makes significant investments in skills development—close to $7.5 billion annually. Almost $3 billion of this programming is delivered in partnership with the provinces, territories and Indigenous groups, and targets students and Canadians who are unemployed.
  • In Budget 2018, the Government committed to a review of skills programming to maximize its effectiveness, particularly the way in which support is provided to workers wishing to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Related products


For media enquiries, please contact:
Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


Snotty Nose Rez Kids: Creator Made An Animal – FYI Music News

Snotty Nose Rez Kids – “Creator Made An Animal – ft. Boslen” (Indie): This Indigenous BC hip-hop duo was one of the success stores in Canadian music last year, vaulting into the national spotlight by making the Polaris Music Prize shortlist. Anticipation is high for a new full-length album, Trapline, set for release on May 10.

This lead single will fuel the buzz. The rapid-fire rhymes are supplemented with left-field but effective production touches that heighten the drama. SNRK has quickly earned a reputation for attention-grabbing videos, and this one is no exception.

Read More:

Emergency operations centres and training funds help B.C. communities

March 22, 2019

VICTORIA – Sixty-three local and regional governments and First Nations communities have been approved to receive their share of nearly $1.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding to support emergency operations centres (EOCs) and related emergency training.

Since the September 2017 Budget update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $20.5 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). Now, another 57 applicants in 63 communities are receiving targeted funding specifically for equipment and supplies required to maintain or improve EOCs, and to enhance EOC capacity through training and exercises. People in all corners of B.C. will benefit from this funding.

“When an emergency situation happens, it’s crucial that communities have the training and resources they require to respond to the emergency quickly and efficiently,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “This investment will increase capacity and provide training for emergency operations centres throughout B.C. so that people on the ground have the tools they need to keep their loved ones and other people safe.”

Funding for the EOC and training component of the CEPF was announced at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention in September 2017. This funding is part of a $33.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

“Having the right tools is key when it comes to responding to and recovering from any type of disaster,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Providing funding like this increases the capacity of our communities to respond in the event of an emergency and improves resiliency when it comes time to recover and rebuild.”

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:

  • Flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning
  • Emergency social services
  • Emergency operations centres and training
  • Structural flood mitigation
  • Evacuation routes

The next deadline to apply for this program is Oct. 25, 2019, for structural flood mitigation second intake.

For a backgrounder listing the 57 proposals approved for CEPF emergency operations centre and training funds, visit:


Media Relations
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Emergency Management BC
250 952-5062


New campus homes help Cranbrook students focus on studies

March 21, 2019

CRANBROOK – Twice as many College of the Rockies students can rest their heads on more affordable, on-campus beds when a new student-housing complex opens in 2020.

Six new cottage-style buildings will provide spaces for 96 more students, doubling capacity at the college and allowing students to focus on their studies instead of where to live.

“The struggle to find affordable housing adds pressure to the entire community and affects students by creating barriers to education,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our government had heard the call to action from students by investing in thousands more student beds on campuses throughout the province. This is the first ever provincial investment in student housing in Cranbrook and we are doubling the amount of student housing at the college. We are committed to working together to make life more affordable so that students can live, study and thrive here in the East Kootenays.”

The energy-efficient project will be consistent with elements of the CleanBC plan to design more sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. It will include barrier-free first-floor units and a projected monthly rent that is 30-40% below current rates in the stretched Cranbrook rental market.

The housing will benefit all College of the Rockies students. This includes Indigenous students, whose input was incorporated into a design that balances privacy — with individual bedrooms and bathrooms — with opportunities for gathering in common kitchens and living areas.

Government is committed to adopting and implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by supporting Indigenous students.

The Province is investing $11.6 million in the $17.7-million project, and the college is contributing the remaining $6.1 million. The college’s contribution includes a $1-million donation from the Columbia Basin Trust.


David Walls, president and CEO, College of the Rockies —

“This project is an investment in our students, an investment in Cranbrook, because it will mean nearly 100 students won’t be competing for Cranbrook rentals, and an investment in the future because it will be energy efficient. It’s exciting to think of the increased vibrancy and sense of community at the college from more students living on campus.”

Lauren Spurge, student, College of the Rockies —

“The college absolutely needs additional residence spaces. If I hadn’t been successful in getting into residence, my experience here would have been much different, and I would have felt more isolated. I’m excited that more students will experience the benefits of living on campus.”

Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust —

“We know that the lack of affordable housing is an issue across basin communities, which is why we’ve made it a priority to help communities address their housing needs. We’re pleased to be able to support College of the Rockies and students with more affordable housing options, which in turn eases the rental market in Cranbrook more broadly.”

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2018, the Province has funded 1,261 additional student homes throughout B.C., representing an 870% increase over the 130 student homes funded the previous 16 years.
    • The College of the Rockies project will create 96 student homes.
    • A $201-million student-housing project at the University of Victoria will create 782 student homes with 620 net new homes. The Province is providing $98 million for student housing and $25 million towards the cost of a dining hall.
    • A $37-million student-housing project at Thompson Rivers University will create 533 additional homes for students with $26 million from the Province.
    • An Indigenous student-housing building at the College of New Caledonia will provide up to 12 student rooms with $2.6 million from the Province.
  • College of the Rockies has approximately 1,800 students, with approximately 48% from outside the Cranbrook area. Cranbrook has a rental vacancy of around 1.2%, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest report (2018).
  • The college consulted with and received support of the Ktunaxa Nation Council for the project as part of its long-standing working relationship with the council.
  • The project will provide increased opportunities for local trades and apprentices. It is expected to create 53 direct and 43 indirect jobs.
  • Construction is expected to begin in summer of 2019 with the six new buildings expected to be ready for students in the fall of 2020.
  • The B.C. government’s 30-point plan on housing includes a BC Student Housing Loan Program that will allow public post-secondary institutions to access up to $450 million to help finance student housing projects for 5,000 new student homes over six years.
  • Combined with grants and institutional self-financing, approximately 8,000 new student homes should be built in B.C. by 2028.
  • Funding for this project comes from the ministry’s 10-year capital plan, not part of the $450-million loan program.
  • The funding is the Province’s first investment in student housing at the college.


Nova Pierson
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
250 208-2743

Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies
250 426-9530


Budget’s Indigenous languages funding ‘insufficient’ to support revitalization work, says B.C. advocate – CBC

Federal budget allocates $334M over 5 years to language preservation, promotion and revitalization

Mar 22, 2019

If Ottawa is serious about supporting the revitalization of Indigenous languages across Canada, a lot more funding needs to be made available, according to the CEO of the First Peoples Cultural Council in B.C.

In Tuesday’s pre-election budget, the Liberals promised to spend $334 million over the next five years on “preserving, promoting and revitalizing” Indigenous languages.

Read More:

Tsilhqot’in To Hold Water and Drum Ceremony on steps of BC Court of Appeal – My Cariboo Now

Mar. 21st, 2019

The Tsilhqot’in Nation will be in Vancouver to mark World Water Day and their fight to protect their land.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation and other First Nation Chiefs will be holding a water and drum ceremony Friday morning before entering the BC Court of Appeal seeking an injunction to halt drilling for Taseko Mines’ proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine 185 kilometers southwest of Williams Lake.

“It’s BC Courts we’ve never had success with B.C. We’ve always had success with the federal government through the Supreme Court of Canada so that’s where our success lies in,” said Chief Jimmy Lulula.

Read More:

New homes and new opportunities in Courtenay

March 21, 2019

COURTENAY – People with low to moderate incomes and those at risk of homelessness in the Comox Valley, including Indigenous peoples, now have more affordable housing options and better opportunities that come with stable housing.

The Province has partnered with M’akola Housing Society to build 35 new affordable rental homes in Courtenay.

“Indigenous peoples are heavily over-represented among British Columbians who are experiencing homelessness, so these homes are good news with the potential to change lives of people in the Comox Valley,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “This project is a great example of how working with Indigenous organizations and municipalities, we can build the affordable homes that Indigenous families and people throughout B.C. need.”

Located at 810 Braidwood Rd., the new development is a three-storey, wood-framed building with a mix of studios and one-bedroom units, a common room and office space. All the units have a four-piece bathroom and kitchen.

The M’akola Housing Society is the non-profit operator and is providing supports for residents including outreach and counselling. Six of the units will be rented at the provincial shelter rate of $375 per month through referrals from Wachiay Friendship Centre for clients registered in its Housing Partnership Program. Wachiay Friendship Centre will provide those residents with accompanying supports, such as outreach and counselling and a live-in caretaker.

Rents for the other units will range from about $580 to $760 per month, and people began moving into their homes in March 2019.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.


Kevin Albers, CEO, M’akola Housing Society and M’akola Development Services —

“We are honoured to be working in partnership with BC Housing, the Wachiay Friendship Centre and the City of Courtenay on this much-needed and community-supported affordable housing project, which will be located on the territory of the K’omoks First Nation. Affordable housing is a priority to this community, and this project, along with the strong support received, is to be celebrated.”

Bob Wells, Mayor of Courtenay —

“We welcome the grand opening of this important facility and are grateful for the safety and security it will provide to members of our community who are at risk of homelessness or housing insecurity. Countless organizations and individuals have worked tirelessly for many years to make this project a reality, and it’s truly exciting to finally be celebrating its completion.”

Michael Colclough, executive director, Wachiay Friendship Centre —

“The Braidwood project is a result of many years of work with community partners and is an important part of finding housing solutions for the Comox Valley. Addressing issues of homelessness and affordable housing is a focus of the Wachiay Friendship Centre, and we are very pleased to have been involved in this M’akola Housing Society project.”

Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) —

“Any one organization, working alone, can have only a limited impact given the scale of the housing crisis. By working together, AHMA’s members and our partners can be a powerful force for change and Braidwood is a testament to this change. We acknowledge the tremendous work and commitment to Indigenous housing from our members — Wachiay Friendship Centre and M’akola Housing Society. I am honoured to welcome Braidwood and each of its residents to the AHMA community.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province provided $4.6 million in capital funding for this project.
  • The City of Courtenay provided municipal waivers in the amount of $428,000 and provided the land valued at approximately $385,000. This land was originally purchased through the sale of other property transferred from the Comox Valley Regional District and funded by City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland and rural areas.
  • The Comox Valley Regional District provided $110,000 through its Homelessness Supports Service.
  • M’akola Development Services, a development consultancy group that specializes in affordable housing and co-ordinating between non-profits and BC Housing, also contributed $500,000 toward the project.
  • The Wachiay Friendship Centre is working with Comox Bay Care Society, LUSH Valley, AIDS Vancouver Island and Comox Valley Mental Health and Substance Use to provide services to tenants.
  • The Province is investing $550 million over the next 10 years to build more than 1,700 new homes for Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.
  • Through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program and the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, the Province is building 4,500 homes with 24/7 support services over 10 years in communities around the province for people experiencing homelessness, with more than 2,560 built or underway.
  • The Rapid Response to Homelessness program is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs throughout the province, which includes 1,400 direct jobs and another 650 jobs in supplier industries.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians:

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit:


Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 698-9176

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917


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