Kanaka Bar used the land and resources within the Traditional Territory to live for over 7000 years. Contact and colonization significantly changed the Kanaka Bar peoples' way of life and for a time, we became lost. By the late 1970's, the realization that Kanaka Bar had survived colonization began to set in and within the community, a desire for a return to the old ways was rekindled. This epiphany, moment of clarity, "ah ha" or "lightbulb" event has no fixed date - it was turning point though and a transition began from despair, despondency and dependence to something else.
By the late 70's, membership and leadership began to seek ways to return the community back to our self-sufficient and sustainable ways and started to look at four significant planning areas: food, energy, employment and financial. Integral to a return to self sufficiency is human capacity development because this leads to self-determination though self-performance and creation of our own products. That, in turn, generates more employment and revenues and eventually a prosperous and vibrant community.
Kanaka's first business venture began in 1990 with a community application for a water license on Kwoiek Creek to develop the creeks hydro-electric potential. Our first company became known as Kwoiek Creek Resources Inc. (KCR) and this entity is responsible for everything having to do with the Kwoiek hydro project.
Kanaka also purchased the gravel pit lands located just south of the community and built an access road up to Nekliptum, installed a new water system and eventually new houses.
Today, Kanaka's machinery, land and infrastructure is all held by a company we call Kanaka Land and Holdings Ltd. (KLH)
Two new companies just getting started are Siwash Watershed Resources Inc. (SWR) which will focus on everything to do with development of the Siwash Creek hydro project and Kanaka Bar Employment Services Ltd. (KBES), the new employment and subcontracting arm for Kanaka.
Greater details on each entity is available by clicking on the menus to the right.
Economic development entails identifying the opportunities for land and resource use within our Traditional Territory and then implementing community based programs, projects and initiatives which use the land and resources to generate short and long term benefits for the community, employment for the membership and capacity development for all.
Important learnings occurred during our "ah ha" years and now consideration and implementation of new business development and operations of current projects coninues to provide us with new learnings every day. Kanaka leadership recently created an organization chart which reflects the need to separate social programs and services (we call blue) which are funded through third-party transfers and revenues from business projects and initiatives (we call orange) that are developed by the corporations for the benefit of community.
In August 2014, a new role, called the Economic Development Officer or EDO, was created to be the person responsible for developing the business portfolio which included new policies, the yearly budget for approved projects and initiatives and then implementing approved community initiatives including supervising the work, and workers, all of which helps Kanaka achieve desired returns in our economic development areas.
The role of the EDO was formally replaced in November 2015 by a Chief Operations Officer (COO) who is now responsible for managing Kanaka's economic development planning, KBLR, and the four subsidaries within it.
Logical Development Steps:
First and foremost is vegetation and waste management meaning we work as friends and families to clear and clean the land on and around our reserves as well as within the Traditional Territory. Our people can be seen out and about doing “what needs to be done” and the cleared lands are now foundations for future projects and initiatives which could include roads, waterlines, agriculture, housing, a community centre and commercial or retail locations. You can probly figure out now why we say "what we do to the lands, we do to ouselves".
Secondly, community based land use planning (or LUP) was done which involved getting input from everyone to develop a comprehensive written report on the current condition of Kanaka’s lands and what we could do next.
Thirdly, Kanaka began the process to acquire the assets which will be used by the community in the long term. The photo above is now trained KBES workers with one of piece of KLH equipment - the "little" excavator.
Finally, training and on the ground experiences. Kanaka workers get trained on the machinery and on the ground getting experience under supervision of qualified mentors. In order to be employabe - we are all working together to make memebrship "qualified, competent and reliable" and membership are working hard to be "ready, willing and able".
Kanaka's Community Economic Development Plan or (CEDP) was approved on March 31, 2016. If you click on the red CEDP you can get a complete copy of the CEDP and clicking on this red CEDP Summary will get you two pages.
The CEDP summarizes the projects and initiatives that Kanaka will carry out over the next 5 years. These projects will be carried out collaboratively by Members, Council and Staff, to produce projects made in Kanaka, by Kanaka and for Kanaka.
Feasibility Study - permanent crossing at Kanaka Bar:
In 2009, as a community, Kanaka Bar designated Whyeek IR 4 for economic development purposes and successfully completed the Kwoiek Hydro Project in 2014 with a "cable crane", The cable crane is restricted in usage so it is not available for access purposes other than emergency and hydro project operations. Kanaka Bar community is looking for an alternative community and public access solution be is a ferry, bridge or different type of crane.