The We Wai Kai Nation Operates Under its Own Land Code

The We Wai Kai Nation operates under its own land code, which has allowed it to take advantage of economic opportunities that benefit its members and as well as surrounding communities.

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Transcript: The We Wai Kai Nation Operates Under its Own Land Code

Lise Steele- Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

The We Wai Kai Nation is comprised of approximately 1,000 members…we have a total of 5 designated reserve lands, 4 on Quadra Island and 1 within the city limits of Campbell River.

Ralph Dick - Chief - We Wai Kai Tribe - Cape Mudge Band

Our village was probably 90 % in the fishing industry and we were doing very well and fishing started to go away and … so we started to say well we have to do something right now … we have to get into economic development…

... We have since taken over our own land code ...

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

The land code allows us to operate solely independent of any ministerial guarantees…it allows us to do business in a business time-framed manner. That has opened up those economic doors for leasing our lands, for getting into other businesses and moving forward.

Ralph Dick - Chief - We Wai Kai Tribe - Cape Mudge Band

…and that makes a tremendous difference to us right now because if we're talking to anybody about business we can do it tomorrow…we don't have to wait 6 years, or 3 years and so it's very important to us.

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge is one of the developments that the Nation has provided…

John Olney - Chairman - Board of Directors - Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge

We have 36 rooms in the main lodge and we have 5 cabins right on the beach

And the spot itself is one of the most beautiful places on Quadra Island.

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

The We Wai Kai Campsite, located in Drew Harbour provides job opportunities for our band members …

Wendy M. Luscombe - Manager - Manager - We Wai Kai Campground

I've been here for 25 years. I love this campsite…like I just love my….it's not a job to me…it's my life!

Lise Steele- Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator- We Wai Kai Nation

The We Wai Kai Forestry Limited… again, provides forestry opportunities for our band members…

Ted Lewis- Councillor - Forestry Portfolio-We Wai Kai Nation

We got two woodlots and we've had them for 5 years now…

…we're hoping to expand from there now, like take the next step into the bigger picture of forestry.

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

The We Wai Kai Seafood Corporation is an aquaculture venture where we're growing scallops…

Ted Assu - Councillor - Fisheries Portfolio - We Wai Kai Nation

So we're trying to get to a point where we have at least 2 and a half million scallops in the water available to harvest every year.

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

Quinsam Crossing is one of the developments that we have in Campbell River…we have approximately 40 acres of leasable land… we're marketing that out to whomever will come in and lease it…

…we have existing businesses…a Shell Gas Station open 24/7…

… the band also owns the Quinsam Crossing Liquor Store as well as a partnership with the Lees Famous Chicken and Ribs…

Crystal Assu - Clerk - Quinsam Liquor Store

I love that there's so much development coming up that hopefully you know, that it will expand more, so when my son becomes of age he can get employment with the band.

Lise Steele - Director - Lands & Natural Resources - Tax Administrator - We Wai Kai Nation

We have a barging facility called Middle Point and that is a huge new economic driver that the Nation is pursuing again off reserve…

Ralph Dick - Chief - We Wai Kai Tribe - Cape Mudge Band

In Middle Point we're hoping to make it into a port where we can bring the big Panamax ships in…right now we are shipping coal out of Middle Point … it's a long term investment that we're hoping that will sustain our people for quite awhile ….and not having to depend on anybody else except ourselves.

Crystal Chickite - We Wai Kai Nation - Supervisor - Quinsam Crossing Shell C-Store

It's an honour to be a part of something that has made our community grow… and to really prove that as First Nations we can do it.

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