Southside – Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society announced today the recipients of the first 2007 grants. Three grants for projects across the region were approved in a meeting of the Board on January 19, 2006. A grant of $10,000 will go to the Aboriginal Business Development Centre as a contribution toward the completion of the Aboriginal Container Opportunity Study to identify employment options stemming from Port Development opportunities for Aboriginal people across the region. The Vanderhoof Public Library will receive $18,650 to assist with building The Mary John Collection, a showcase of books, audio/visuals, map and photo archive that depicts an important historical perspective that is an essential component of the town’s tourism plan. The third grant in the amount of $75,000 was awarded to the Village of Fraser Lake’s business plan to upgrade the local Arena – an important economic, social and community centre for that community.
NKDF Chair Mike Robertson says, “While the Container Study will investigate the future opportunities for First Nations relating to the new Container Port, the Mary John Collection will be a significant celebration of the past.”
“Our government is committed to working with groups throughout my riding to support important projects,” said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad. “Helping to close economic and social gaps between First Nations and non-First Nations, improving our literacy outcomes through the expansion of the Vanderhoof Library and helping the potential arena expansion for the Fraser Lake community are examples of our commitment to helping communities throughout my riding.”
“Alcan is fully supportive of the work being done to engage First Nations in business opportunities across the region and is equally congratulatory of the Village of Fraser Lake’s efforts to secure the social and economic hub of their community for the long term”, said Colleen Nyce, Manager of Corporate Affairs for Alcan in northern B.C.
Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society was jointly established in 1999 with a combined contribution of $15 million by the government of British Columbia and Alcan Inc. The Fund’s investment area includes lands impacted by the original Kemano project and focuses on those communities in the Nechako and Haisla regions of the north.
The Society encourages applications from local governments and legally incorporated non-profit organizations. NKDF invests in projects that create sustainable employment, diversify the economy, and improve the basic infrastructure needed for community stability, quality of life and growth.
The Government of B.C. and Alcan Inc. each contributed $7.5 million to establish the Northern Development Fund in 1999. The investment income generated from this fund supports the NKDF grants program. Each partner has one representative serving on the board of directors. The NKDF is part of the portfolio of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
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