Breaking the barriers
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Success stories

The We Wai Kai Nation:

Breaking the barriers

The We Wai Kai Nation has been very involved in the fishing industry and was doing very well for much of its history ... that is until fishing started to decline. â€œWe started to say, well, we have to do something right now – we have to get into economic development,” says Ralph Dick, Chief of We Wai Kai Tribe, Cape Mudge Band. It started with the Land code.

The land code allows the band to operate independent of government Loan Guarantees, which can be a barrier to business. Dick says this way if we have a business idea,“we can do it tomorrow. We don't have to wait 6 years, or 3 years.”

Lise Steele, Director Lands & Natural Resources and Tax Administrator adds: “It allows us to do business in a business time-frame. That has opened up those economic doors for leasing our lands, for getting into other businesses and moving forward.”

Businesses on the We Wai Kai lands include, forestry projects, aquaculture (scallops), land leasing and many other ventures.

“It's an honour to be a part of something that has made our community grow,” says Crystal Chickite, Quinsam Crossing Shell C-Store Supervisor. “and to really prove that as First Nations we can do it.”

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