VICTORIA - The Cayoose Creek Indian Band (Sek'wel'was, pronounced "sickle-wash") is receiving a total of $39,612 in Buy Local program funding to support their members with agriculture entrepreneurial opportunities so they can live and work off the land.
The Sek'wel'was territory is located in the Lillooet area in British Columbia's Southern Interior. The band already has established a successful native plant nursery with an emphasis on ethnobotanical products. They are now looking forward in taking the next step and developing a brand and marketing strategy that will incorporate those products with agriculture and the important Sek'wel'was cultural story.
The Sek'wel'was also will be using the funding to promote agritourism in their area by creating a cultural trail system along the Seton River with a focus on ethnobotanical plants. The overall goal of the project is to provide the Sek'wel'was members and future generations an opportunity to work in the agrifood and agritourism industries and showcase their Aboriginal community both locally and throughout B.C.
The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.
Building the local market for British Columbia foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Pat Pimm -
"I want to congratulate Chief Edwards and the Cayoose Creek Indian Band in receiving this Buy Local funding. What a great opportunity for their young people and the B.C. government wishes them all the best as they begin their new adventure in providing an agritourism destination along Highway 99 near Lillooet."
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart -
"This Buy Local funding is creating opportunity for the Sek'wel'was and for the Lillooet area. I look forward to seeing these young people promote their products in the marketplace and share their knowledge and expertise with locals and visitors."
Cayoose Creek Indian Band Chief Michelle Edwards -
"Sek'wel'was community has always worked and lived off the land. Our ancestors have always managed our lands for both food and trade. This project honours our cultural heritage while looking towards our future on the land. Splitrock Environmental is our first business in the agricultural/agroforestry field and the native plant nursery is doing well. Through this business we are training our youth to become the stewards of our land and our culture. We will be giving them the knowledge and tools to share with the wider community, and the funding received through the Buy Local program will assist us on this path."
- The Cayoose Indian Band has approximately 200 members, about 50 per cent of whom are living on reserve.
- Splitrock Environmental is the first business set up by the Sek'wel'was and the award-winning company specializes in the propagation of regionally specific native plant species. Splitrock Environmental operates a native plant industry and also sells plants at local farmers' markets.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
Splitrock Environmental: http://splitrockenvironmental.ca/
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)