Williams Lake Indian Band has opened up an office in downtown Williams Lake, the band said Thursday.
“We’re pleased to announce that WLIB has now opened a downtown Williams Lake Office to house our natural resource management, economic development and lands departments, as well as a number of our wholly owned corporate entities,” WLIB Chief Ann Louie said in a press release. “The Williams Lake Indian Band is growing very rapidly. We are in the process of planning for the construction of a new administration facility on reserve lands, but this downtown office gives us additional room to grow until that project is complete. It also allows us to have a presence in the downtown core, which is in the heart of our traditional territory.”
The 8,000 square foot office is located at #301- 172 North Second Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Taseko Mines.
Initially, there will be 10 staff at the downtown location, but it is likely that contingent will grow within a few months, WLIB said.
“WLIB owned businesses are growing rapidly,” Councillor Willie Sellars said. “Sugar Cane Archaeology is now performing a significant percentage of the archaeological contracts awarded within our traditional territory. Our forestry operation, Borland Creek Logging Ltd., has a core work force of more than thirty-five people, and we employ dozens more on a contract basis.”
Soon WLIB will be going to market on its Coyote Rock real estate development, and the new office will provide a headquarters for marketing efforts and for lands records, Sellars added.
“We’d love to have people who are interested in buying or building a home come by our new office to talk about our subdivision. We also hope to have more regular engagement with realtors, lawyers and others to give them information about our lands management structure.”
The WLIB downtown office will also serve as a gallery for local artists and craftspeople.
Initially, the WLIB office will feature the art of Laureen Carruthers, Kiera Dolighan, Linda Bachman and Erin Domenko. “We hope to add more art as we go,” Sellars added. “We’ve got lots of space and we really want to support the local arts community.”
The WLIB office features two boardrooms, which WLIB will be renting to the public for meetings and other functions. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and staff at the downtown office can be reached by phoning the main office line at (778) 417-0190.