Pictured from left: Brian Kelly – Band Administrator

Senators visit We Wai Kai Nation

The senators are participating in a nationwide study examining on-reserve housing and infrastructure

The Chief and Council of the We Wai Kai Nation welcomed seven senators serving on the Standing Senate Committee of Aboriginal Peoples onto their traditional lands Tuesday.

The senators are participating in a nationwide study examining on-reserve housing and infrastructure and were welcomed at Quinsam Reserve #12.

Chief Ralph Dick of the We Wai Kai Nation welcomed senators Dennis Patterson (NU), Lillian Dyck (SK), Sandra Lovelace Nicholas (NB), Nancy Greene-Raine (BC), Nick Sibbeston (NWT), Tobias Enverga (ON), and Wilfred Moore (NS) to a tour of the nations’ residential areas.

Chief Dick told the senators that his nation has always taken pride in their homes and residential areas.

“Our Elders taught us to b independent and strong; owning your own home was a major key in achieving both,” Dick told them.

The nation provides the land in residential-sized lots to their members to construct their own homes. All homes are individually-owned and financed by members of the nation. The We Wai Kai Nation has five designated reserve lands, four on Quadra Island and one with the city limits of Campbell River. The nation has residential lots for their members at Cape Mudge IR #10 and Quinsam IR #12.

“Ensuring quality housing on-reserve is an important topic for First Nations people living on-reserve and it should be a concur for all Canadians,” Senator Dyck, Deputy Chair of the committee, said. “During this study process, we have heard from people from across this country at public hearings in Ottawa. We also visited communities in different regions of Canada. The stores we heard were, at times, heartbreaking and, at times, they were uplifting. We hope our report about on-reserve housing, which we intend to complete before the end of the calendar year, will shed light on what is working and what is not working. Meeting with British Columbia First Nations this week is an important part of understanding the regional differences of on-reserve challenges and successes.”