New State of the Art Building Expands Stewardship Efforts in Klemtu

Chief Charlie Mason speaks at the grand opening of the Kitasoo Stewardship Office on June 7, 2018. Photo by Laura Hope.

The Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation is expanding its stewardship operations in the Great Bear Rainforest with the grand opening of a new stewardship office and accommodations in Klemtu.

The two buildings, provide office space for the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority as well as accommodation for its staff, scientists and researchers, and other contractors employed in the community by the Authority, Spirit Bear Lodge, Kitasoo Forestry Company, and Spirit Bear Research Foundation.

Main building of Kitasoo Stewardship Office.
One of two modular buildings constructed in Cumberland, BC and shipped to Klemtu. Photo by Laura Hope.

The Kitaxoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Authority provides technical advice and support for effective decision-making by the Kitasoo/Xai’xais community and its leadership, ensures that Kitasoo/Xai’xais laws, customs, traditions, policies and practices are included in resource planning and management decisions, and advocates for the recognition of Kitasoo/Xai’xais Aboriginal title and rights.

“We’re investing to ensure the success of our Stewardship Authority,” says Douglas Neasloss, Chief Councillor of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation and Resource Stewardship Director. “Having space for our stewardship staff means we can ensure that planning and development in our territory is done sustainably and that our laws, customs, and traditions are included in resource management.”

The two buildings comprise 5,920 square feet and incorporate elements of coastal First Nations design. They house a total of six offices, and ten suites.

Having space for our stewardship staff means we can ensure that planning and development in our territory is done sustainably and that our laws, customs, and traditions are included in resource management.

The main building is mixed use and includes a large board/meeting room, map/archive room, research lab, offices, and bedrooms. Photo by Laura Hope.

“In a remote community like Klemtu it’s essential to have a permanent accommodation facility to help us attract and retain high caliber staff and consultants,” says Evan Loveless, Resource Stewardship Advisor “Their expertise will in-turn increase research, planning, monitoring, and management capacity for Kitasoo/Xai’xais members.”

Through Coast Funds, Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation contributed over $1.5 million to the project. “This is a perfect example of how the conservation financing from the Great Bear Rainforest agreements is being used to grow both the economy and stewardship capabilities of First Nations,” says Huux̱ (Percy Crosby), chair of Coast Funds’ board of directors.

About the Stewardship Buildings:

  • The modular buildings were constructed in Cumberland and shipped to Klemtu by barge.
  • The buildings were constructed to be energy efficient.
  • The main building is mixed use and includes a large board/meeting room, map/archive room, research lab, offices, and bedrooms.
  • The second, smaller building is primarily staff accommodations with four bedrooms, and a kitchen and common area.
  • Over-all the two buildings can accommodate up to 20-24 people. Combined with Spirit Bear Lodge, Klemtu can now host groups of up to 50.
  • Coast Funds has approved $1,525,000 in funding toward the development and construction of the buildings between 2015 and 2017.