Shxw’Ow’Hamel Ventures and LandSea Camp Services recently announced the first phase of the workers accomodations complex is complete.
The first workers arrived at the camp – called Sqemel La:lem, which translates into “Pit House Lodge” – in December 2020. Shxw’Ow’Hamel First Nation has been working with Trans Mountain in conjuction with the upcoming pipeline expansion project, creating a camp community and a construction yard on the nation’s land.
The First Nation will own the camp, which will house up to 350 workers during peak construction, which is slated to run until September 2022. It’s considered “self sustaining,” complete with dining facilities, a recreation facility, 21-unit kitchen and medical facility.
“The most attractive feature of Sqemel La:lem is that the design of the camp allows for a future legacy housing development project for Shxw’Ow’Hamel First Nation in years to come,” the release from Shxw’Ow’Hamel Ventures said.
The camp’s construction employs nine members of the Shxw’Ow’Hamel First Nation with future maintenance and operational jobs keeping members employed throughout the lifetime of the camp.
“Our purpose has always been to maximize Shxw’Ow’Hamel Ventures’ participation on every project surrounding our community,” Shxw’Ow’Hamel Ventures CEO Alfred James said in a statement. “I am proud that LandSea focused on not only employment and training opportunities for our members, but also subcontracting work to eight of our partners to work together on the Sqemel La:lem project.”
Shxw’Ow’Hamel Ventures said nearly half of the workforce on the operations phase of the camp is Indigenous, meeting a goal of providing steady, full-time work to local First Nations communities.