I have a few comments in regards to the recent transfer of land at the old Tolko sawmill site to the Simpcw First Nation and the District of Barriere.
It was noted that the Simpcw First Nation were only allocated two of the lots and the District of Barriere received nine. To be brutally honest, the Simpcw should have gotten all of the eleven lots. It is within their “rights” to ownership as it is traditional First Nation land dating back quite possibly thousands of years ago.
For those who know of my extensive research I have undertaken in the past nine months of Louis Creek, they would know that I am very passionate about our community and that I am attempting to make a point that our history is deeply rooted and I for one will be adamant that it should be preserved.
With this in mind, I am very concerned as to what the District of Barriere will do with their allocated lots. The words “economic development” is very vague and without clarification holds no true value. It is my understanding that there is some sort of industry (perhaps more than one) that is interested in the old Tolko site. We have heard that same old song a few times now. Though I am keenly aware that any industry would have to follow environmental guidelines on this allocated site, I strongly suggest that we, the residents of Louis Creek, have a say in this regard as it will have a greater impact on our lives and NOT of those who live at a distance.
The Stone family has been in Louis Creek since 1947. We are relatively “new comers” when one considers some of the families that live in the upper Louis Creek region and within the highway portion, their roots to this community date back to the 1800’s. And as I mentioned before, the First Nations People being here eons ago. I am sure they feel the same way as I do, a deep pride in our area. Any industry that might want to set up in our community should firmly educate themselves as to the history involved. If they should have a need to be reminded of that you can count on me to be a willing correspondent.
There are at least two (more in the future) scenario’s that should also be addressed, these concerning the allocated lots for the District of Barriere. It is noted that there is land set aside for a “park” and for the acknowledgment of the old Louis Creek cemetery. There was a small space that was fenced off by steel wiring that was meant to indicate the location or to acknowledge the old cemetery. This is NOT the actual location where it was originally, and the District of Barriere and the TNRD need to work out a plan to have it back to where it was.
Its a matter of being respectful not only to the deceased family members but to our community as well. Someone had shown up a few years ago looking for a deceased family member, sadly, she did not know where the cemetery was. Access to the cemetery by the general public should also be addressed.
The other scenario that really gets on my nerves, and of a few other residents, is the signage across from the Wildfire Monument, the one that says “Entering Barriere, District Municipality”. While the District of Barriere has legal entitlement to some lots within our community, I would suggest that as an act of good-will to us, the residents of Louis Creek, that the district remove it from the highway and place it somewhere else on one of their allocated lots.
If I have ruffled a few feathers by my comments, well, so be it then. I intend to be very vocal about our community. It is far too historically important to be ignored and I will go to any extreme to preserve its rich history. I am certainly not opposed to the betterment of the area, but at the same time do not ever believe that any industry should ever take precedence over any historical aspects.
Louis Creek, B.C.