The coronavirus pandemic has not slowed development in a First Nations community along Highway 20 approximately 177 kilometers west of Williams Lake.
Construction continues on a new health clinic at Tsideldel (Redstone) across from the Redstone Gas Bar.
At around 5,000 square feet, Chief Otis Guichon Sr. said the new facility will give staff some much need extra space.
“It should be done by late fall,” he said, noting the current facility is not large enough to accommodate staff and serve the growing needs of the community.
“A lot of our members and elders use it.”
Work also continues on the Michelle Garden water project which when complete later this year will result in about five homes being connected to the community’s main water line.
“Plus we’re going to have a fire hydrant there too and that would help because right now we don’t have any means of getting the fire truck there and getting it setup,” Guichon added.
Earlier this spring, the community’s cultural centre received an addition that doubled its floor space. The project was complemented by Carver Dean Ross Gilpin of Pioneer Log Homes who carved a sign ‘Tsideldel Cultural Centre’ with the nation’s logo.
“We’re just waiting to have a grand opening,” Guichon said.
Local contractors from the Williams Lake and 100 Mile House area were hired for all three projects, and Guichon said before entering the community they must fill out and sign a COVID-19 survey. Once receiving the go-ahead, they are required to maintain social distancing at all times.
“I’m feeling good about it. Things are coming together,” Guichon said of the work. “These projects have been in the works for a number of years and it’s finally coming to fruition.”
Checkpoints in the community remain active during the weekend, he noted.
“We have elders in the community that have health issues so they’re very vulnerable to this COVID-19 plus some of our youth,” Guichon said of a possible coronavirus outbreak.
“It would hit us hard if that ever happens but I think right now most of our community members are sticking to the social distancing.”