The provincial government is providing more than $200,000 to First Nations and local governments in the Burns Lake area.
The funding is part of more than $10 million being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations under the B.C. Rural Dividend program.
Wet’suwet’en First Nation will be receiving $100,000 to pay for the preliminary design and business plan for a cardlock gas station facility. The new business would service the heavy truck traffic in the area, create employment for Wet’suwet’en members and generate revenue that could be reinvested into other economic development initiatives.
Lake Babine Nation will be using the $78,828 provided by the province to support its cultural tourism strategy and, among other things, Aboriginal tourism training, business readiness and workforce development.
“These grants provide the Lake Babine and Wet’suwet’en communities with access to training, economic development and employment – helping spur the local economy and improve the quality of life for many people,” said Scott Frase, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
The B.C. government is also distributing up to $10,000 grants to help rural communities complete preliminary project components necessary to pursue larger community projects in the future. The Village of Burns Lake, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako and the Burns Lake Band will each receive $10,000.
The Village of Burns Lake will use this funding toward its ongoing economic diversification project.
The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako will develop a business case for the small communities located with the regional district’s electoral areas that lack adequate broadband connectivity.
The Burns Lake Band will undertake a sustainable community capacity snapshot/readiness evaluation. The evaluation will identify employment opportunities and associated training, current capacity and existing capacity gaps within the First Nation and Village of Burns Lake.
“Going forward, we want to make sure that rural citizens have a voice and will play an integral role in any rural development,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “These new grants will provide much-needed support to rural communities, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations.”