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Affordable homes open for shíshálh Nation members

May 17, 2024 at 1:19 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Members of the shíshálh Nation are moving into new affordable homes with the opening of 34 rental units in Sechelt.

“Our House of Clans is a monumental achievement for our Nation,” said shíshálh Chief (lhe hiwus) Lenora Joe. “We recognize the lands where it has been built, and we feel empowered to make a positive change. Our House of Clans will provide much-needed affordable housing for our membership and is just the start of our housing projects. ?ulnumshchalap (thank you all) for investing in our Nation.”

Located at 5573 Sunshine Coast Hwy., the project is the result of a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the shíshálh Nation. The building has been named Our House of Clans, representing the interdependence and co-operation of the five clans of the shíshálh Nation: bear, frog, orca, wolf and eagle.

“The opening of Our House of Clans is a meaningful demonstration of reconciliation, keeping our shared commitment to deliver culturally appropriate homes for members of First Nations, who face greater barriers accessing essential services like housing,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Thanks to our partners, shíshálh Nation members will now move into 34 new homes where they can grow with their families and stay close to their culture.”

The building, owned and operated by tsain-ko, consists of homes that range in size from studio to three bedrooms. Amenities include a large multipurpose room with a community kitchen, a conference area, spaces for social programming, fitness and entertainment, as well as offices for shíshálh Nation staff. Retail spaces are also available on the ground floor of the building.

Our House of Clans is constructed on land that is sacred to the shíshálh Nation. It is the site of the former St. Augustine’s Indian Residential School administration buildings. A Reconciliation Plaza will house a totem called Carving Tears into Dreams of Reconciliation, created by the late shíshálh master carver Tony Paul. The totem was developed and organized by the syiyaya Reconciliation Movement with more than 1,500 people assisting with the carving. Several other shíshálh Nation artists are also featured in the building’s design.

“Our House of Clans is a significant housing development that is built on sacred land, symbolizing shíshálh Nation’s resilient work to update the story of their lands,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “The opening of these 34 homes is a welcome addition to the community, and I celebrate as Nation members move into these new homes. These will provide a safe space for children and Elders to come together, lasting for generations to come.”

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 240 homes in Sechelt.

Quote:

Patrick Weiler, member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky, on behalf of Sean Fraser, federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities –

“The opening of Our House of Clans marks the completion of a long journey for the project, where many hands contributed with government support to take meaningful steps forward in the shared path of reconciliation. Designed by and for shíshálh members, the stunning 34-unit building will be a proud place to call home and a long-term gathering place for the Nation.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, is contributing $7.2 million through the Indigenous Housing Fund.
  • The federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is contributing $2.8 million through the Affordable Housing Fund.
  • The shíshálh Nation contributed the land valued at $1.2 million and $570,000 in equity.

Learn More:

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing

For more information about the Government of Canada’s housing initiatives, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/finance/manage/housing.html

To find out about the National Housing Strategy, visit: http://www.placetocallhome.ca

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