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BC Government: Rural Dividend grants support First Nations communities

Press Release

April 11, 2019

VANDERHOOF – Cheslatta Carrier, Nadleh Whut’en and Stellat’en First Nations are being awarded $442,495 for three projects under the special circumstances provision of the BC Rural Dividend.

“We’re aware that some rural communities are facing difficulties in the aftermath of severe wildfires,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “We have been working to prioritize certain project applications to help Indigenous and rural communities ensure they remain healthy and economically viable places to live and raise families.”

  • Cheslatta Carrier Nation is being awarded $170,500 to assess the damage from recent wildfires, prioritize mitigation work and provide wildfire recovery training to members. The project supports other work to repair damage from the recent wildfires and prepare the area for future wildfire events.
  • Nadleh Whut’en First Nation is being awarded $239,860 for the feasibility and planning phase of an emergency centre of excellence that will support large-scale disaster response. The project includes hiring a project manager, establishing a project steering committee, and completing a feasibility report and construction funding proposal toward the next phase of the project.
  • Stellat’en First Nation is being awarded $32,135 for a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of a recreational vehicle campground and eco-tourism guiding company for the Nation.


Chief Corrine Leween, Cheslatta Carrier Nation –

“Cheslatta Carrier Nation suffered significant financial impact from last year’s devastating wildfires. The Rural Dividend grant will support our community’s recovery efforts and Cheslatta members working on the project will have an opportunity to learn about wildfire damage, remediation work and, most importantly, be better prepared in the future. Although the emotional toll is still apparent, having a financial contribution helps the community in general to heal and prepare, as we open up the work we need to do to all our community, First Nation and non-First Nation.”

Chief Larry Nooski,  Nadleh Whut’en First Nation –

“This partnership project will support the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation to play an important role in managing emergency services in the face of natural disasters. We look forward with our partners – Stellat’en First Nation, Village of Fraser Lake and Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Society – to developing a regional emergency centre of excellence for the North.”

Chief Archie Patrick, Stellat’en First Nation –

“The wildfire season of 2018 caused widespread damage across our territories and negatively impacted the health and well-being of our members. Our Nation has a long history of providing guiding and eco-tourism services throughout our traditional territories. We are eager to develop new business, economic and employment opportunities for the Stellat’en Nation.”

Quick Facts:

  • In Budget 2019, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year Rural Dividend to 2021-22.
  • More than $4.6 million has been awarded under special circumstances throughout the province from 2018-19 funding.
  • 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.
  • In January 2019, the Province also provided $673,124 in project development grants to 68 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around B.C.
  • The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which commits to supporting rural communities to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies.

Learn More:

Cheslatta Carrier Nation:

Nadleh Whut’en First Nation:

Stellat’en First Nation:

BC Rural Dividend: of Forests, Lands,
Natural Resource Operations
and Rural Development
Media Relations
250 356-7506

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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