Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $607,560 for two projects in Lytton, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced today.
“The rural dividend is just one aspect of our rural development mandate committed to making rural communities and First Nations more resilient,” said Donaldson. “In view of the damaging wildfires last summer, we prioritized project applications to support communities that were impacted, like the Lytton First Nation.”
The Lytton First Nation is being awarded $107,560 to upgrade its community hall, creating a centre for a food-sustainability hub. The project is based on a feasibility study and business plan funded by an earlier intake of the rural dividend program.
The Nzen’man’ Child and Family Development Centre Society, which has a licensed child-care facility in Lytton, is being awarded $500,000 to design and develop a new community facility that can house all of its programs and services. The society provides services to children and families of the Lytton First Nation, Skuppah, Kanaka, Cook’s Ferry, Siska and Nicomen bands.
“We’re working closely with First Nations communities to understand their unique challenges, and help them recover from the 2017 wildfires,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Through these projects, the Lytton First Nation and Nzen’man’ Child and Family Development Centre Society are meeting important social and economic needs.”
“As we move towards a universal child-care system in B.C., we want to ensure that Indigenous children, families and communities can access quality early learning and child-care programs that best meet their needs,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Having child care co-located with other programs creates a gathering place that will help build a strong sense of community, while also providing culturally appropriate, wrap-around services for local families.”
During the fourth intake, applications for rural dividend funding from wildfire impacted areas were prioritized for review. The Lytton First Nation’s planned community hall upgrades are being funded under the rural dividend’s special circumstances provision, specifically designed to assist communities undergoing economic hardship.
As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21.
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend