An Indigenous gathering space will be built at Selkirk College’s Tenth Street Campus after the City of Nelson received a $220,000 grant.
The new space, announced March 14, is part of $30 million funding 92 projects in 54 communities as part of the province’s 150 Time Immemorial program that’s administered by Heritage BC and First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation.
Nelson’s cultural development officer Joy Barrett said Thursday the project will be similar to an outdoor gazebo with lighting, storage space and access for people with disabilities.
Barrett said Selkirk approached the city several years ago with the idea, but it had to wait on a funding opportunity. Nelson, she said, doesn’t have a place designed for Indigenous gatherings and ceremonies.
“I think it’s something that’s missing in our community. Castlegar has this space for these cultural gatherings, and we really don’t. … It’s definitely the steps that we need to take towards reconciliation as well.”
Selkirk College president Angus Graeme said in a statement that the space will be used for learning, healing and celebration.
“It will benefit many,” said Graeme. “The Indigenous community as a whole, knowing they have a safe space to gather and practise cultural ceremony, students who attend Selkirk College, and community members who want to learn, witness, and partake in advancing truth and reconciliation.”
Barrett said consultation on the design will begin soon. The project is expected to be complete by fall 2023.
Heritage BC also announced a number of other West Kootenay projects included in the grant:
• The Kootenay Lake Historical Society will use $283,070 to restore the outer deck of Kaslo’s SS Moyie as well as weatherproof its envelope.
• The Village of New Denver will spend $104,000 to replace the fence and roof of the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre. The Village is also receiving $27,800 for strategic planning at the centre.
• The Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society received $23,440 for planning of an archives and research centre.