March 29th, 2023, Vancouver BC –The Squamish Nation Council today announced it will start the development of community capital plans and land use strategies for several Squamish Nation-owned lands. The Council has placed a moratorium on entertaining third-party proposals for developing its lands for one year as part of this process. This temporary pause on specified lands will enable the government of the Squamish Nation, its development corporation Nch’ḵay̓ and its affordable housing provider, Hiy̓ám̓ Housing, to develop land use strategies for the Nation’s lands to help fund several capital projects in its long-range capital plan.
This land use planning project, a first for the Nation, represents a shift in the way the Nation approaches planning and development. The project will open the door to socio-economic growth through its lands in a way that reflects Squamish values, culture, and worldview.
“The Squamish Nation is ready to set the direction for the future of many of our lands in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, and Sea to Sky Corridor,” says Khelsilem, Council Chairperson, Squamish Nation. “For the next year, our government, affordable housing provider, and development corporation will work with our people to build community capital plans that meet our community’s needs and an economic land use strategy to deliver it.”
The three components of this work are:
- An immediate moratorium on receiving or considering third-party proposals for developing Nation lands.
- Develop long-range capital plans that meet the current and future needs of the Squamish People (ex. Parks, Schools, Community Centres, Health Care Clinics, Affordable Housing and more.)
- Develop land use strategies for high-priority areas in Squamish Territory (North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Squamish, and Gibson’s Landing).
“Today the Squamish Nation and Nch’ḵay̓ have issued an Expression of Interest to identify consultant teams with experience in land use and master planning, to help us develop a long-range capital plan that is aligned with our social, cultural, environmental, and economic goals,” said Mindy Wight, CEO of Nch’ḵay̓. “The successful parties will help the Squamish Nation, Nch’ḵay̓ and Hiy̓ám̓ Housing work with our community to develop a strategy for these lands – one that maximizes the potential financial value and community benefit.”
The successful parties will be selected for their ability to achieve the goals, a demonstrated commitment to Indigenous Rights, and their ability to build long-term, trusted relationships with Indigenous communities in a manner that respects their rights and interests.
This initiative is in keeping with the Squamish Nation’s objective from its Strategic Plan 2022-2026, by which the Nation asserts its rightful place as a decision-maker with influence and control over what happens on Squamish lands and waters.
About The Squamish Nation
The Squamish Nation, as a government, has existed since 1923. In our language, we are called Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw. Before 1923, the Squamish People were socially, economically, and politically organized into several physical communities called an úxwumixw (“village; people”) in the territory of the Squamish People. The territory of the Squamish People includes the Burrard Inlet, English Bay, False Creek, and Howe Sound watersheds.
The Squamish Nation as a government established the Nch’ḵay̓ in 2018 as its arms-length economic development corporation. Led by a board of business, financial, and real estate experts, the Nch’ḵay develops, manages, and owns active businesses that grow the economic wealth of the Nation. The company’s name refers to the mountain all Squamish People descend from, as told in the Squamish People’s story of the Great Flood. This flood forced our ancestors to tie their canoes to the highest mountain in the territory called Nch’ḵay̓ (known also as Mount Garibaldi) to survive and repopulate our territory once the waters subsided.
About Hiy̓ám̓ Housing
Hiy̓ám̓ Housing is the not-for-profit organization mandated to lead the development and management of non-profit affordable housing for the Squamish People. Hiy̓ám̓ Housing currently manages 56 affordable housing units, and they are also leading the development in Vancouver, North Shore, and Squamish Valley of 424 confirmed new affordable rental homes. They are mandated to deliver 1,000 new homes for the Squamish People and contribute to the Squamish Nation’s goal of housing every Squamish Nation member within a generation.
Attached documents include:
Maps of Reserve Lands available at request
Link to drone footage