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Five northwest B.C. First Nation communities to benefit from poverty-reduction funds

Gitxaala, Gitga’at, Kispiox, Kitselas and Sik-E-Dakh receive funding for food security projects
Kitselas First Nation’s food garden near Terrace. The community’s food-security project is among five other First Nation projects to get provincial funding. (Kitselas First Nation)

Five First Nation communities in northwest B.C. are receiving a part of the $2 million dollar poverty-reduction funding by the province.

Gitxaala Nation and Gitga’at Nation are receiving more than $69,000 in funding for community projects through the First Nations Well Being Fund.

Gitga’at Nation will get $35,000 to train community members in traditional food-preparation methods as well as build a freezer and smokehouse to serve the community at large. Meanwhile, Gitxaala Nation will collect $34,220 for a regalia-making program and develop a skill-development program for the community’s 75 members.

More than $2 million in grants has been provided to 62 First Nation communities throughout the province from the First Nations Well Being Fund, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction stated in an Oct. 6 news release.

Kitselas First Nation is getting $35,000 for food-security initiatives that includes teaching food-forest gardening and traditional crop growing.

Similarly, Kispiox Band and Sik-E-Dakh (Glen Vowell Band) are getting $34,190 and $35,000 respectively for food security projects.

“The projects developed by these communities will go a long way to promote community well-being, teach traditional food security methods and deliver skill development programs,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, said.

The First Nations Well Being Fund is split into two streams, one for community projects and the other for planning.

The community projects stream provides up to $35,000 for a single First Nation, $70,000 for two First Nations and $105,000 for regional applications of three or more partnering First Nations. The planning stream provides $25,000 for one First Nation, $50,000 for two First Nations or $80,000 for a regional application involving three or more partnering First Nations.

Applications for the first intake of the fund closed May 30, 2021. All B.C. First Nations were eligible to apply to the fund, which was created with a $2.7-million grant from the Province.

 Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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