Victoria/ Sts’ailes First Nation – The Sts’ailes First Nation will benefit from a revenue-sharing agreement signed with the Province to share revenues generated by the expansion of the Sasquatch Mountain Resort.
“The Sasquatch Mountain Resort project is a great example of collaborative work between a resort operator and an Indigenous community,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Today, we celebrate that partnership as well as Sts’ailes’s ongoing involvement in economic development and the protection of cultural heritage resources in the area.”
The economic and community development agreement provides for revenue sharing of incremental revenues of the annual royalties that the Province collects from Sasquatch Mountain Resort. The agreement comes after a thorough consultation process and assessment with Sts’ailes of how the project review and consultation met the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Sts’ailes is very happy to work with Berezan Group and the Province of B.C. on this key agreement that was carried out in the spirit of reconciliation,” said Sts’ailes Chief Ralph Leon, Jr. “We are excited for our people and for our renewed relationship with B.C.”
The Sts’ailes First Nation will be involved in the five-phase expansion plan, which positions Sasquatch Mountain Resort to evolve into an all-seasons resort. Development plans include expanding ski terrain and winter activities, as well as incorporating a variety of year-round recreation activities, such as mountain biking, hiking, ATVing and the addition of a lakefront Indigenous-themed residential village and small marina.
Phase 1 of the expansion has an estimated capital investment of $500 million, which will create the equivalent of 1,153 full-time jobs, while completion of the five phases of development will see an investment of over $1 billion.
“We are proud to be partners of the Sts’ailes First Nation and excited to be part of the celebration of the ECDA agreement between the Sts’ailes First Nation and the Province of B.C.,” said Ralph Berezan, CEO, Berezan Group.
In November 2015, the Province approved a master plan for expansion of the regional ski area in the Hemlock Valley and, subsequently, a 60-year master development agreement in April 2016. Sasquatch Mountain Resort is located within the traditional territory of Sts’ailes and encompasses approximately 6,000 hectares of land between Hemlock Valley and Harrison Lake.