Federal government steps up with $1.4-billion in financing for Sen̓áḵw housing project

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      The largest rental-housing project in Vancouver history has moved one step closer to reality. 

      Today, the federal government provided $1.4 billion in financing for nearly 3,000 new homes near the southern end of the Burrard Bridge.

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Council chairperson Khelsilem at a sod-turning ceremony.

      The funds will offer a financial backstop for Sen̓áḵw, an on-reserve residential and commercial development project owned and operated by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). 

      “Today’s announcement not only builds more much-needed homes for Vancouverites, it supports the Squamish Nation’s vision for their traditional lands and their path to continued economic independence and self-determination," Trudeau said. "When we all work together as partners—federal and Indigenous governments, private sector, local communities—we innovate, and we find solutions to the challenges we face.”

      Khelsilem described the partnership as a "historic moment in Canada's relationship with Indigenous communities".

      "This economic partnership is the largest in Canadian history between a First Nation and the federal government," he said. "This investment will build many needed rental apartments and generate long-term wealth for Squamish People across many generations. The wealth generated from these lands can then be recirculated into our local economies and communities to address our people’s urgent needs for affordable housing, education, and social services.”

      It's on the site of the ancient Sen̓áḵw village, which was burned down in the early 20th century, forcing the residents to disperse.

      This was done because legislation required Indigenous people living on reserve to be evicted if the neighbouring population topped 1,000 settlers.