An Indigenous community west of Williams Lake is working on completing a guest lodge that will serve as the catalyst for the future development of Indigenous tourism businesses, ecotourism, and guide outfitting in the coming years.
Chief of Yunesit’in Government Rusell Myers-Ross says the guest lodge will fit a really good need for their community.
“When we started the project it was mostly because we’ve had so much traffic through our community and we wanted a chance to be able to provide accommodation for people that want to stay here or have work here and they’d prefer to stay here than stay in Williams Lake,” he says.
The lodge that costs an approximate $600,000 will be located behind the community’s school gymnasium and band office.
It will be a freestanding structure that will consist of a main unit with three bedrooms, a washroom, powder room, full kitchen, and living/dining area.
A second, smaller unit will be attached and will consist of one-bedroom, washroom, kitchen and living area.
Ross says they had started construction on the lodge in November and hope to have it completed by the end of June.
“We were trying to incorporate as much of our construction crew that we could, even as trainees and participants in the project,” he says. “We’ve also included some of our milling products from Yunesit’in Leading Edge and from our mill to be part of some of the material, and then I think we’re hoping that we can include artwork. We have tables for example that will be designed with our logo on it and we’ll have some pieces in there that are from our community.”
The Northern Development Initiative Trust announced on Wednesday it is providing $100,000 to Yunesit’in Government to support the construction of the guest lodge.