The proposed facility at the Burns Lake Motor Inn would comprise 44 one-bedroom units of which three units would be accessible. (File Photo)

Six First Nations hope to bring community housing at Burns Lake Motor Inn

Project to go for public hearing in early September

The six First Nations, along with the Village of Burns Lake and in partnership with BC Housing, might be bringing transition housing or housing for the homeless in the community, in place of the Burns Lake Motor Inn.

The rezoning application for the proposed site for the housing project was presented before the village council on Aug. 11 for its first and second reading. The council directed that the proposal be sent for public reading as the next stage in the process.

“This project is for the people that are at risk of being homeless or are homeless, and it started back in July 2018 when the government announced that BC Housing has $7 billion for the next 10 years. So I applied for it and from there, it got the approval, and I started working with all the six Nations,” said Emma Palmantier who is the project lead as well as the director of health for Lake Babine Nation.

As part of the process, the village staff worked with the six First Nations, to identify parcels of land in the Burns Lake area for this housing project. Councillor Darrell Hill, who was on this committee consisting of the Nee Tahi-Buhn, Skin Tyee, Cheslatta, Burns Lake Band, Lake Babine and Wet’suwet’en First Nations, helped look for and finalize the Burns Lake Motor Inn.

“We toured properties and one of it was Burns Lake Motor Inn. We chose it because it is in a good location, not close to any residential areas, next to RCMP, right opposite from the mall,” said Palmantier.

According to Palmantier, the facility would house members from the six First Nations.

“There is a lack of housing in the communities. It is hard to meet the needs of the constantly growing population. So it will be members of the communities, because that’s who we are targeting is the six Nations,” said Palmantier.

The proposed facility would comprise 44 one-bedroom units of which three units would be accessible. The project would also include a lounge area, dining room, heat room, staff office and unit and a community room.

“I really want to see services like life skills, training, education, health, to really try and help out. Some of them are young people and I see potential in them. So life skills, traditional skills, get the elders involved to be the knowledge holders and teach young people the traditional skills like harvesting salmon and preparing salmon, smoking moose meat, traditional medicine. We have knowledge holders that still provide the teaching,” said Palmantier who is hoping to make use of the proposed community spaces within the facility.

The entire project which would be funded by BC Housing under the Special Projects Fund, is contingent upon the successful rezoning of the property.

The public reading will be happening on Sep. 1 according to Palmantier.

“We are proposing to do pop-up posters in the community, downtown, the mall, wherever people go, just to give everybody the chance to understand and get prepared for the public hearing and see what kind of comments and questions that we may receive,” she said, adding that she hopes the project would actually take off by next year Spring.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Federal child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Most Read