A new cultural centre and museum at 108 Mile House received the go-ahead Tuesday, when the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and the Northern Secwepemc First Nations signed an agreement.
“On behalf of the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society and its five member Bands, I am both pleased and proud to be signing this long-term lease agreement with the Cariboo Regional District,” said Irene Gilbert, president of the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society.
A culmination of more than 10 years of work led to the agreement signing, and involved topographic surveys; archaeological and environmental impact assessments; feasibility studies; architectural schematic design; and business plan development.
“Projects of this nature show what can truly be accomplished when all levels of government, societies and residents work together in collaboration,” CRD chair Al Richmond said.
“This is what building communities together is truly about.”
The centre will be located near the 108 Mile Heritage site along Highway 97, on a site acquired through donations from TELUS, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and through a lease of the land with the CRD.
Significant funding to date has been provided by the CRD, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Heritage Canada, Western Economic Development Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition.
More than $125,000 has been contributed by the five participating Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society Bands.
Construction of the complex will begin in 2016 and a tentative opening has been scheduled for May 2017.
With CRD files.