The Williams Lake First Nations and the Lac La Hache branch of DWB Consulting Services LTD have signed a formal partnership.
The partnership was signed and announced last week with the consulting firm specializing in engineering, environmental and forestry services.
Willie Sellars, the chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band, said that the partnership made sense for both parties.
“We’ve been working with DWB for a number of years,” he said. “I think just looking at natural disasters, and the response that we’ve seen on our reserve, with our flooding and the capacity DWB bring to the table and the expertise that they bring to the table on a number of different fronts have helped us respond in a timely matter and being able to bring those professional services to the forefront of our response.”
Sellars said that he is excited about what the future holds.
“We’ve had band members working with them for a number of years,” he said. “The way that the Williams Lake Indian Band has been conducting business in this region over the past 10 to 20 years, and bringing these partnerships on board, and getting the opportunity to give the individuals the training for our membership and the employment opportunity. We couldn’t be happier with the partnership and inking something and moving forward in a positive way.”
Sellars said that the partnership would help them in a number of ways.
“We are giving the people of this region an opportunity to go to work and provide for their families and start a career, and this is just another one of these opportunities,” he said. “The capacity that they (DWB) bring so we can help collaborate are response with the Ministry of Transportation, with Indigenous Services Canada, with the Ministry of Environment, I mean it really helps us and really alleviates a lot of pressure off of our staff and off our leadership.”
“It is really all about bringing capacity on board so we can really train our members, so we can respond to these questions that we get from the industry and feel comfortable with the answers that we are giving.”
Ryan Wonnacott, the environmental manager for southern operation at the Lac La Hache DWB Consulting Services Office,
“We’ve done a little bit of work with the Williams Lake First Nations in the past,” he said. “They had engaged us to help out with some work in the River Valley here this spring. This was a mutual decision that we wanted to make a bit more of a formal agreement together to look forward and work together.”
“I think it’s a number of things, but mainly is to provide and conduct work in the area which we primarily operate down here, along with our First Nations partners who hold traditional territory here, ” Wonnacott said. “Just see more synergies together on projects for mutual benefit.”
He added that they are very excited to work with the Williams Lake First Nations.