North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice making the half million dollar announcement for Klemtu at the Stewart Wallis Memorial Basketball tournament with Kitasoo Chief Doug Neasloss (Melody Robinson photo)

Nuxalk Nation awarded $100,000 from Rural Dividend Fund for commercial agriculture project

The project will use hydroponic technology to grow vegetables for the Bella Coola Valley year-round

  • Apr. 24, 2019 1:30 a.m.

Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing over $1.1 million for five projects in the North and Central Coast regions.

“Indigenous and remote communities lack financial supports found in larger cities. The projects funded today will not only improve food security and energy production, but also assist First Nations communities in creating new economic opportunities,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “I’m proud to be a part of a government that cares for rural, remote and coastal First Nations communities.”

Almost $19 million in 153 single applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.

These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.

“This funding supports the diverse needs of small communities throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”

As well, over $4.6 million in grants are being provided through the program’s special circumstances stream to support 23 applicants responding to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster.

Additionally, $673,124 were awarded through the project development stream to communities around the province to complete preliminary work to support future projects.

The Rural Dividend encourages economic diversification through community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.

The Government of British Columbia has committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2021-22.

The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which commits to making rural communities more resilient.

The Gitxaala First Nation in Kitkatla is being awarded $337,800 to help create a community restaurant/eatery in the Village of Lach Klan. It will also offer local workers on-the-job training under a Red Seal chef.

The Kitasoo Indian Band in Klemtu is being awarded $500,000 for upgrades to the Baron Lake Hydropower facility to allow for greater power output from the original 600 kilowatt hydro plant, reduce diesel dependency and support population growth and economic opportunities.

Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola is being awarded $100,000 for Phase 1 of a project that will lead to a large-scale commercial agricultural business that uses hydroponic technology to grow vegetables for the Bella Coola Valley, year-round.

Skidegate Band Council is being awarded $72,000 to complete a feasibility study for the widespread adoption of solar photovoltaic technologies in Skidegate. The study includes an assessment of battery storage solutions to reduce diesel power dependency.

The Wuikinuxv Nation in Oweekeeno is being awarded $97,938 to support implementation of a comprehensive community energy management system to reduce the cost of electricity in off-grid Wuikinuxv Village.

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