Economic development potential seen for new mill

Construction is about to start on a paper manufacturing facility at Shxwhá:y Village called Whitefeather Tissue and Towel Plant.

Construction is about to start on a paper manufacturing facility at Shxwhá:y Village called Whitefeather Tissue and Towel Plant.

It’s a unique project that’s been years in the making.

The local First Nation, formerly known as Skway First Nation, partnered with Unicell for the first phase to build the 32,000 sq. ft. facility that will be known as Whitefeather.

Eventually jumbo rolls of paper will be milled on-site into tissue paper and paper towels.

At the groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month Shxwhá:y Chief Tina Sam made a strong statement about what the economic development project means for the future.

“Today we are looking at a clean start for Shxwhá:y Village,” she said in a release. “Yes, some past council decisions have not been good for our lands, but we have made it our mandate to see clean, economically feasible development succeed on our lands—not just for the present day but for the next seven generations to come.”

The project will see Shxwhá:y provide the land and building to house the mill, while Unicell will procure the equipment, install, operate and manage the facility.

The project will be jointly owned by Shxwhá:y Village and Unicell Holdings Inc., according to the release, with a 51 per cent ownership by the First Nation.

“We have been very interested in the idea of a clean, safe business development plan, and we liked the Sharma family’s attitude towards indigenous people around the world,” said Murray Sam, CEO of Shxwhá:y Village.

Whitefeather will be the first tissue mill in Canada for the Sharma family. The opportunity will bring local training as well as jobs.

“While we are just breaking ground, today is far from the beginning of this project,” said Unicell spokesman Kanu Sharma in a release. “In fact, this early step has been years in the making.”

Phase 1, which is the construction phase, will create at least 16 jobs.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial government responds to Ryder Lake bad internet complaints

Anne Kang, Minister of Citizens’ Services, responded to a pair of letters sent to Victoria

Chilliwack Search and Rescue kept busy on B.C. Day long weekend

Six callouts in 10 hours Friday continued a trend of more outdoor enthusiasts needing help in 2020

Fraser Valley Bandits release top forward Cameron Forte

A team leader through four games of the CEBL Summer Series, Forte has been cut loose

The Happy Hiker, Art Lengkeek, recognized with bench and plaque on Mount Cheam trail

The 88 year old is a familiar sight on trails throughout the Fraser Valley and beyond

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

VIDEO: One wounded in Maple Ridge gun battle

Two vehicles reportedly traded shots while driving down street

Most Read