The Land Where We Live
Skway I.R.#5—where we live—is a small wedge of land comprised of 670 acres located adjacent to the City of Chilliwack and located within Stó:lō and Ts’elxwéyeqw Traditional Territory. With few of our people living on reserve, there has been little direction and guidance in the earlier years leading up to the past decade. We once utilized every facet of the land and had a deep connection to the spiritual and traditional features on the landscape. With the coming of settlers in the area, the residential school era, and the lack of employment opportunities, many of our people were lured to the “safety” and employment being offered in the United States of America.
We live surrounded by water which is a big concern for us in terms of flooding and a good water supply. One of our plans is to utlilize the surrounding and man-made bodies of water by creating a stream of revenue through fishing and recreational activities on the water.
Numerous environmental studies have been carried out by our administration ensuring our water supply and lands are safe. Mitigation measures have been done, attesting to our commitment to ameliorate our landfill situation. We are currently researching ways to reduce the damage done to our lands and make safe for the future.
Two man-made lakes are in future development plans for a marina, boutique hotel, fishing services and recreational activities. Our proximity to the Fraser River is an asset where boats can move from lake to river.
A major infrastructure development is underway for an economic development partnership called White Feather Tissue Plant Inc. Flood Control is a major concern with dyking a major undertaking to ensure safety from flooding.