UPDATE: 11:05 a.m.
The Skeetchestn Indian Band announced Friday it's building a new museum and pit-house along Highway 1.
Kukpi7 (Chief) Darrel Draney announced the new construction near the Big Sky Gas Station in Savona during a press conference Friday morning, attended by federal Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller.
“I'm excited for this addition to our community as we have so many unique artifacts to share with our members and fellow Canadians,” Kukpi7 Draney said.
“Our history's important, we are important and this permanent location to house our history will ensure that our grandchildren will know who we are, know what we've done, and most importantly be proud to be part of Skeetchestn's family.
“Our youth is our future and this development is mostly for them so they know their rich history. This will be our house of stories, of legends, to tell for generations to come.”
The federal government is contributing $800,000 for the construction of the two buildings, which Miller said is part of the federal government's $100 million investment in response to the final report of of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“It called on Canada, on governments, to provide safe spaces for women and children and LGBTQ persons, to reclaim in a safe way their language, culture and traditions, because the report concluded that people who had this taken from them were more vulnerable,” Miller said.
“It's something that falls within of a bigger picture in Canada. This is the earlier wave of about $100 million that will be deployed throughout Canada.
“You're one of the very early recipients because of the quality of the submission and the work you've put into it.”
Miller said he hopes to return to the community when construction is complete.
Kukpi7 Draney noted that Miller has “walked the walk” when it comes to reconciliation with Indigenous people.
“You are an ally to all Indigenous communities and I look forward to the continued progressive steps that your department will take to ensure that we see true equity in our small and big communities spread across Canada,” Kukpi7 Draney said.
ORIGINAL: 9:55 a.m.
Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller and Kukpi7 (Chief) Darrel Draney of the Skeetchestn Indian Band are making an announcement at the Savona Big Sky Gas Station Friday morning, about support for the construction of two new cultural spaces.