A new initiative supported by the StrongerBC Economic Plan will help the Yuneŝit’in Government and the rest of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in B.C.’s Central Interior to better process wood to build new homes for people and families using the Nation’s local timber supply.
“This rural development grant will provide Yuneŝit’in with resources to continue to evolve our dream of a forest-to-frame concept,” said Dwayne Emerson, band manager, Yuneŝit’in Government. “The rural development grant affords us the opportunity to enhance our forest-to-frame concept by adding an RF kiln and a wall-manufacturing process to the production of value-added wood products.”
The Province is providing a $1-million rural economic development grant to the Yuneŝit’in Government, located near Horsefly in the Chilcotin District, to support the Yuneŝit’in’s recently established sawmill production and woodworking enterprise, Leading Edge.
This funding will support equipment and infrastructure to better process Yuneŝit'in timber and enable the construction of homes throughout the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, completing their forest-to-frame concept. The forest-to-frame concept is the process where Yuneŝit'in community members are involved from the “forest” stage of harvesting wood to the “frame” stage of constructing buildings and wood projects.
“This project represents significant job and economic opportunities for the region, while ensuring sustainable value-added wood production,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Working in partnership with the Yuneŝit’in, this investment is one part of our commitment to create new jobs while advancing reconciliation and helping build a stronger B.C. today and for generations to come.”
This funding will go toward better wood-processing resources, including the establishment of an on-site kiln, equipment to treat wood with a safe, environmentally friendly fire retardant, and structural insulated panels for building.
With these resources, Yuneŝit’in will be able to keep more projects and resources managed by their government. With the capacity to offer a full spectrum of services, they will be able to offer more skills training and community engagement, and create good-paying jobs to better support the band and surrounding communities.
“People across rural B.C. are resourceful, creative and ambitious, and this project is a perfect example of that,” said Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural and Regional Development. “I’m so excited that we’re able to support the Yuneŝit’in in bringing their forest-to-frame plan closer to reality, and I want to recognize their dedication and hard work as we continue to build long-lasting and meaningful relations. This is a great example of adding more value to our natural products and keeping more revenue in our rural communities. Our government is committed to working with all of rural B.C. on creating resilient and successful communities by expanding and diversifying economies with innovative, locally created solutions like this one.”
This funding is part of the B.C. government’s commitment to build resilient communities as outlined in the StrongerBC Economic Plan. The StrongerBC Economic Plan moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone.
The plan builds off B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address two long-standing challenges – inequality and climate change – by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions. The plan sets two main goals for the province – inclusive growth and clean growth – and puts forward six missions to keep B.C. on track.
- Yuneŝit’in is located approximately 105 kilometres west of Williams Lake.
- The Yuneŝit’in Caretaker Area stretches as far as the Fraser River to the east, Taseko Lakes (Dasiqox) to the west, Chilcotin River (Tŝilhqox) to the north, and Graveyard Valley to the south.
- The Tŝilhqot’in National Government represents six main Tŝilhqot’in communities: Tl’etinqox (Anaham), Tŝi Deldel (Redstone), Yuneŝit’in (Stone), Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah), ʔEsdilagh (Alexandria) and Tl’esqox (Toosey).
Yuneŝit’in Government: https://www.yunesitin.ca/
The Province’s work with the Yuneŝit’in: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/yunesit-in-first-nation-stone
The StrongerBC Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan