A partnership agreement will see the business development arm of the Xat’sull First Nation and a local excavating contractor participate in restoration work in the Williams Creek river valley impacted by recent flooding that saw a one-in-two-hundred year flow rate.
The Xat’sull Development Corporation (XDC) has signed an agreement with Peterson Contracting Ltd. after being in discussion for the last few weeks.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Chief Sheri Sellars. “I think this is a great step forward for Xat’sull and we have more opportunities to come within this partnership right now.”
XDC has formed numerous business partnerships with world-class organizations who Sellars said share Xat’sull First Nation’s guiding principles of Indigenous inclusion, safe practices, training and development opportunities.
“When we do this in an economical way we also have an environmental process in the community as well so they kind of go hand in hand,” she said. “When a project comes up we usually send our environmental pieces in there just to do monitoring, and archaeology and things like that and then once we get all that squared away it changes over to the economic development piece.”
Sellars said Howard Campbell, chief executive officer of XDC, works on those partnerships after and develops those for them.
“It just gives us a holistic process all the way around,” she said. “So we have our stewardship in different ways and we receive revenue share from it as well.”
The time line for how long the restoration work in the river valley will take to complete or when it will commence remains unknown.
“Usually that doesn’t happen until after the assessment, that’s when they really know what’s going on down there and what could possibly happen in the years to come,” Sellars said. “As we all learned from wildfires in 2017 they were estimating at least a 10-year turn around time from recovery but this is not as big as that. I think there’s a few years at least just to assess and then figure out engineer wise what it’s going to take to hold some of those bank sides.”
Sellars participated in a flyover of the flooded area last week.
“I was quite amazed because I know just how small this creek actually was compared to what it is now. It’s deteriorating a lot of our bank sides and it’s just amazing to see how much water can move.”