At mid-day under a sunny sky, Splatsin community members held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new development in their unceded Secwépemc territory.
Splatsin received $2,975,500 from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation to develop a 10-unit housing complex under the Rapid Housing Initiative program.
At the June 25 ceremony, Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian said the community has not been able to build homes in more than 20 years.
Christian emphasized the importance of investing in children, which he said means investing in homes, schools, language and more.
“All of those things they took at the residential schools, we’re bringing them back,” he said.
He said the occupants of the new homes will be a mix of Splatsin families who want to return to their community, and families currently living in overcrowded situations on their reserve near Enderby.
Christian said the development is positive but noted that Splatsin’s population is now almost 1,000.
“We could use 100 houses because our community is growing tremendously,” said Christian.
Splatsin’s housing department said there are approximately 30 families on a wait list to receive on-reserve housing.
The new development will be a mix of three and four bedroom units, all with two bathrooms. The modular units will be produced at a plant this summer, installed in September and have a move-in date sometime in the fall.
Community members are asked to stay away from the site during construction. There will be heavy machinery, numerous work crews, and potentially dangerous tools at the site. People with questions about the project or about the construction site itself can contact Housing and Facilities Manager, David King, at 250-838-6496 ext. 814 or email@example.com.