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Nuxalk gets $879K to re-establish historic Bella Coola/Kimsquit Eulachon Grease Trail

The funding is through the B.C. rural development grant program

Plans to restore an historic eulachon grease trail on B.C.’s central coast will get an economic boost from the B.C. government.

The Nuxalk Nation is receiving a $879,688 rural development grant to re-establish the Bella Coola/Kimsquit Eulachon Grease Trail.

“This project will not only create employment for people during construction, it will also drive more economic activity in the Bella Coola Valley,” said New Democrat MLA Jennifer Rice in a news release. “I’m glad the Nuxalk will be getting this much needed boost to increase opportunities for tourism, recreation and small businesses in their traditional territory.”

Eulachon or Sputc, are a small anadromous smelt, the Nuxalk people caught for thousands of years abundantly until there was a dramatic collapse of the fishery in 1998.

In a 2012 interview biologist Megan Moody, who grew up in Bella Coola, told Black Press Media historically there were 10 local river systems where Nuxalk people fished for eulachon, with the four largest runs being the Bella Coola, Kimsquit, Taleomy and Kwatna Rivers.

READ MORE: Fond memories of eulachon grease in Bella Coola

In a news release from the office of Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation some details on the project included that construction of the trail will create meaningful employment opportunities and directly support short- and long-term community economic development, including employment creation in ecotourism and guide outfitting; small businesses in supplying traditional foods and resources to regional and international markets; piloting the nation’s off-grid tiny homes; increasing access to fibre supplies for a bio-energy project and accelerating work on a proposed long-term hydropower project to replace diesel power.

We have reached out to the Nuxalk Nation for comment

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