The Gitga’at First Nation is moving into Third Avenue West to hold a space for its members in Prince Rupert.
Gitga’at Development Corporation (GDC) recently purchased the building on behalf of the band at the corner of 634 Third Avenue West and Sixth Street, which is currently home to Lee & Anns Restaurant and Mommy’s Laundromat, and is the former site of Grand Shoe Store Repairs.
“It’s our hope that the resource space will be elder focused, elder managed and will be a complete realization of their hopes for a place of their own in Prince Rupert,” Chief Arnold Clifton said in the press release.
Two-thirds of the Gitga’at band members live in Prince Rupert, and the nation has been looking for a location to house formal and casual meetings. Earlier this year, the provincial government agreed to give the nation $500,000 to set up a permanent space for their members in Prince Rupert as part of their benefits agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG.
An open house will be held at the building on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. with a ceremony at 4 p.m. The public will be welcome to drop in for the informal event.
Lee & Anns Restaurant will continue to operate, and GDC is considering creating an elders resource centre for its members from Hartley Bay and Prince Rupert to gather. The upstairs portion of the building, which is 5,000 sq. ft., may be used as a formal meeting space.
The building will also house the Prince Rupert offices of GDC in their efforts to build an economic foundation for the band membership.