Snuneymuxw First Nation Community Building Grand Opening
The Snuneymuxw Community Building was officially opened on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 1145 Totem Road in Nanaimo.
Located in the centre of our community, the building was designed with input from Chief and Council and the community, and reflects Snuneymuxw culture and history.
Friends and neighbours gathered to attend this momentous event. Since the arrival of the first settlers to our territory, our people have always opened their arms to the broader Nanaimo community and we are anticipating sharing this space and to coming together to create a stronger community.
The gathering began with the ribbon cutting and official opening by Chief John Wesley and some attending Council members. Chief Wesley began by saying, “This has been a 30 year project in the making for our Snuneymuxw community. It’s a day to remember and to honour.
We want to thank all the previous Chiefs and Councillors and Elders who helped make this community building possible.”
After a blessing and speech by Eleanor White, all were welcomed and thanked for coming.
This was followed by many speeches and blessings by many of the local City Councillors, RCMP representatives and Chiefs or their delegates from neighbouring communities.
Bill Yoachim, Nanaimo City Councillor and Snuneymuxw member commented, “We’re looking forward to getting some old timer sports happening here and also good old DJ dances happening, have some fun and bring it back like we have. We have a history of fun and we’re going to continue that history of fun. Hy:cep qu, thank you very much beautiful people of Snuneymuxw, thank you.”
Local Hereditary Chief Richard Thomas from the Lyackson First Nation added, “It’s a joyous occasion here. We always hear in various communities that there is nothing to do. So I raise my hands to the community here for taking that step and providing opportunity for youth to gather and do what’s natural for kids. And that is run around, get involved in sports and activities.”
In April 2016, the building was recognized for an award at the annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board’s Commercial Building Awards, which honour the best commercial and industrial structures built in the real estate board’s area in the 2015 calendar year. The award was presented to Chief Wesley by Greg Constable from Island West Coast Developments, the project builders.
The design of the building includes a fitness area with state of the art fitness machines and weights, gymnasium, multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen and a new space for our Tuytaxun General Store. Our community is now able to develop community-based physical activity and sport and recreational programming. There will be multiple opportunities for all ages and, by creating a space to gather, we will be able to further celebrate Snuneymuxw culture, tradition and ceremony.
The building also enhances our economic development and will be further sustained through on-going recreational memberships and programs and facility rentals.
The gathering closed with a light lunch and fellowship enjoyed by all.
We look forward to making the new Snuneymuxw Community Building an important part of the local community.