About 40 Trans Mountain pipeline workers will soon call Telte Yet Campsite home.
On Aug. 16, the Hope recreation site announced the news. The Chawathil First Nation owns and operates the site. They held a groundbreaking ceremony to share the good news with the community. Stakeholders gave short speeches, performed traditional prayers, placed celebratory shovels into the ground, and witnesses spoke about the land. The ceremony concluded with a meal for all the participants, a report said.
The campsite will be upgraded to accommodate the housing. This will be occupied for the duration of the project by pipeline workers. It is expected to be complete in a few weeks and will make the campground much more functional.
Sonny McHalsie was one of the witnesses. He is a historian and cultural interpreter at Sto:lo. He spoke of the importance of the land where the campsite is located, which is only a small portion of what Joseph Trutch “given” the First Nation peoples of the area. All of Hope was originally supposed to be given today to the area’s ancestors.
There will also be partnerships with Trans Mountain, Macro, and Kiewet who will all work together to build the housing. The project will see Kiewet workers living there for the duration. This will likely give the local economy a boost. You can walk to the downtown shops, services, restaurants, and bars.
Monica Florence, Councillor of the City of Chicago, helped to organize and emcee this event. She stated that the partnership will allow them to preserve the trees and improve the land. The land is important because of the trees and how they grow bald along the Fraser River.
She stated that the income from the rental of the campsite has always been used to support youth and elders in the community. This will be true with the rental to Kiewet.
She stated, “We want to see our community move in the right direction.”