Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society


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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Irene Gilbert—President
Patrick Harry—Vice President
Codie Williams—Treasurer
Graham Leslie—Secretary
Kerry Chelsea—Director


NORTHERN SECWEPEMC
CULTURAL SOCIETY

P.O. Box 553
108 Mile Ranch, B.C.
V0K 2Z0
Canada

Tel: 250.791.7267
grahamleslie@shaw.ca

THE PROJECT


LEASE AGREEMENT - October 14, 2014


CEREMONY

On the bright sunny morning of October 14th, a simple ceremony was conducted on the site of the proposed cultural centre and museum.
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THANKS
Our opportunity to express our thanks very publicly to numerous individuals and groups that have supported our Society throughout the past almost 11 years, all of whom have helped us reach the important milestone we are celebrating today.
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View from site to highway and Heritage Site


The aim of the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society (NSCS) and of its predecessor Informal Working Group was from the outset to construct a cultural centre and museum somewhere within the traditional territories of its five constituent Bands.

The project was sparked initially by an invitation in 2003 from the Board of Directors of the 100 Mile House & District Historical Society and its offer to lease a two-acre parcel of its land bordering the 108 Mile Lake in the South Cariboo, and because that site found favour with the Bands, all of the preliminary work relating to the project was, until May 2013, focused on that site.

In May 2013, the Historical Society laid down conditions for a lease that were impossibly onerous, and the NSCS abandoned its hope of building on the 108 Heritage Site.

Most fortunately, the NSCS had for some time been assembling a separate parcel of land in close proximity to the 108 Mile Lake in order to meet the parking and septic disposal requirements of the government authorities, and in early 2013 it was confirmed that this 1.05 hectare parcel will also accommodate a modestly-sized building of the kind the Society has been contemplating.

The advantages of both sites include the fact that neither is on the reserve lands of any one particular Band, and they are approximately equidistant from the reserves of all five Bands. In addition, the Historical Society’s existing heritage buildings and the neighbouring B.C. Government Rest Area already attract thousands of visitors each year during the period from mid-May to mid-September.

With the early support of the Historical Society’s board of directors, the Working Group and the NSCS raised a substantial amount of grant money from the Cariboo Regional District, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, Western Economic Development Canada and Canadian Heritage which, when added to the financial contributions of the five member Bands, financed an archaeological impact assessment and a topographic survey of the two-acre parcel during 2005, and a thorough study into the feasibility of proceeding with the project, which was conducted by the Vancouver architectural firm of Busby Perkins and Will between May 2007 and July 2009.

Busby Perkins’ final report was received soon after the financial crash of 2008 and, in the economic climate that followed, its architectural proposals seemed far too ambitious and far too expensive. The NSCS then scaled down the scope of the project substantially.

Since 2009 the Society, with generous financial support from its five constituent Bands and from the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, has assembled the alternate parcel of land, title to which will be held by the Cariboo Regional District in trust for the NSCS, and has commissioned McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd. to produce a schematic design, provisional construction costing and an imaging package which was submitted to the NSCS in December 2013.

In July 2014, the Society received its final Business Plan that was prepared by Cadence Strategies and financed by a generous grant from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.

Since that time the Society was able to obtain the funding needed to commission McFarland Marceau to prepare a Design Development Report which was submitted to the Society in April 2016 and approved by the membership soon afterwards. The work performed in connection with that report is the last step prior to preparation of the Construction Documentation and final budget that will be carried out by McFarland Marceau as soon as funding is in place for that phase.

The Society’s member Bands have already committed an amount that enabled the Society in October 2016 to apply to the BC Rural Dividend Program for the balance of what will be required for this phase. The Society expects to learn the outcome of its application by the end of March 2017 and, if the application is approved, McFarland Marceau anticipates the completion of its work by the end of December 2017.

Final approval of the architects’ report will place the Society in the position of starting its search for the funding to enable the actual construction to begin, providing that the Society’s five member Bands have been willing in the interim to affirm their commitments to the operational deficit financing.

The Society intends to be active during 2017 in the pursuit of those commitments.

This account has passed over the exciting work that led to the construction of a beautiful cedar bridge connecting the site of the proposed Centre and the B.C. Government Rest Area at the 108 Mile Lake. A full account of this can be found elsewhere on this website, and includes an expression of our sincere thanks to those many local businesses that so generously contributed to its cost.

 

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NORTHERN SECWEPEMC CULTURAL SOCIETY

P.O. Box 553     •    108 Mile Ranch     •     B.C. V0K 2Z0     •     Tel: 250.791.7267

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