Government of Canada announces over $320,000 to enhance Indigenous cultural experiences


Today, the Honorable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister for International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced a total investment of $320,500 to support two projects in whistler and Brackendale by the TRF.

At Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centeran investment of $220,500 help create a new Indigenous tourism experience showcasing the cultures of Squamish and the Lil’ Wat Nations. Visitors are invited to participate in the carving of a 30-foot-long cedar canoe that is installed at the Center for public viewing. This main attraction provides the community with a unique and meaningful opportunity to connect visitors to the land and engage in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. In addition to creating and maintaining jobs for the local community, the exhibition is expected to be visited by thousands of domestic and international tourists.

The Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning receives $100,000 to enhance year-round Indigenous cultural experiences at the Cheakamus Center, a recognized nature-based education and event center. The project will enable upgrades to the Centre, including security modifications related to COVID-19. He will engage Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Knowledge Keepers to ensure respectful integration of new Indigenous programming elements. In addition to educating visitors about the region’s Indigenous heritage and teachings, the project is expected to produce career paths for local Indigenous youth.

The government of Canada continues to implement its robust economic recovery plan, including supporting tourism businesses and community spaces as they safely resume operations. In British Columbiathe TRF is provided by PacifiCan, the Government of from Canada new regional development agency dedicated to strengthening from British Columbia economy.


“The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that all sectors have the resources they need to succeed as we build back even stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tourism Relief Fund helps communities like whistler and Brackendale deliver experiences that make Canada a destination of choice for visitors from all over the world. These projects also highlight the rich history of local Indigenous communities and support Indigenous-led businesses and organizations. »

– The Honorable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister for International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“Canada’s tourism sector continues to be one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fully committed to supporting businesses and organizations through these challenging times, keeping safety a top priority while ensuring they get support to recover quickly, innovate their products and services, and thrive. The Tourism Relief Fund will help businesses adapt, make improvements and be ready to welcome visitors again. It is also part of a broader strategy to help the sector survive the pandemic, recover and grow. The Canadian economy will not fully recover until our tourism sector recovers.”

– The Honorable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

British Columbia is home to world-class tourism experiences that contribute to the strength of the Canadian economy. Projects like the ones announced today create new employment opportunities here in our local community, while giving visitors the opportunity to participate in Truth and Reconciliation. »

Patrick WeillerMP for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

“The Community Reconciliation Canoe is an invitation from SLCC Ambassadors around the world and aims to bridge any distance between all the hearts traveling to this land, those who live there in appreciation and the original peoples who manage the landscape in front of you. Together, a canoe will be created, carefully sculpted by master carvers, elders, youth of the Nations, residents of whistler and visitors who come to play here. We raise our hands to thank the Canadian government for their continued support. »

Heather PaulExecutive Director, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center

“We are grateful for this generous funding which helps expand educational tourism experiences in our region and invites visitors of all ages to share the beauty, depth and vibrancy of the Skwxwú7mesh culture in a fun, interactive and engaging way.”

Cathy JenkinsDirector, Cheakamus Foundation

Fast facts

  • The TRF will help position Canada as a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds in:
    • empower tourism businesses to create new or improve existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and national visitors
    • help the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors, providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world
  • Eligible applicants include tourism entities that primarily cater to visitors, such as:
    • companies
    • non-profit organizations, such as tourism associations
    • band councils or other Aboriginal organizations and cooperatives.
  • PacifiCan is the regional development agency dedicated to British Columbia. PacifiCan promotes growth and diversification in from British Columbia the economy by strengthening innovation, improving business competitiveness and promoting inclusive growth.

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SOURCE Pacific Economic Development Canada

For further information: Haley Hodgson, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development, [email protected]; Amanda Costa, Acting Communications Manager, Pacific Economic Development Canada, [email protected]; Toll Free: 1-888-338-9378, TTY (Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired): 1-877-303-338


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