POWELL FOREST CANOE ROUTE REVITALIZATION PROJECT, 2021-2023
In 2021 PRESS received more than $300,000 from BC’s CERIP (Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program) to upgrade the Powell Forest Canoe Route. The project included the addition of way-finding and interpretive signage, improvements to remote campsites, modifications to challenging trail sections, as well as the creation of a proper staging area at the start of the route. Throughout the project PRESS engaged with large sections of our local and regional community – trail users, trail builders, tourism-related organizations and businesses, and our regional governing bodies, Tla’amin Nation and qathet Regional District
POWELL FOREST CANOE ROUTE MANAGEMENT 2012 TO PRESENT
The Powell Forest Canoe Route (PRCR) is a 57 km route through eight lakes, with multiple campsites set among the soaring mountains and cedar forests of BC’s Sunshine coast. With multiple points of entry, the PRCR affords both single and multi-day canoe and kayak trips and is widely regarded as one of the finest lake-to-lake journeys in the province. PRESS is the agency responsible for managing the maintenance of the PRCR, and the society works closely with Western Forest Products and Recreation Sites and Trails BC to maintain the many remote campsites – accessible only from the water – that are available at lake and river shores along the route. Sunshine Coast Tourism also partners with PRESS in promoting the route at home and abroad.
IT’S HIP TO BE OLD VIDEO – NEW HORIZONS FOR SENIORS PROJECT 2019-PRESENT
The noted gerontologist Robert Butler introduced the term “ageism” almost 50 years ago, defining it as a type of discrimination, similar to racism and sexism, directed toward older people – the belief that aged people are unproductive, sickly, depressing, dependent, out of touch, cognitively impaired, incompetent and irrelevant. Our film – It’s Hip to Be Old – challenges stereotypes around aging by portraying the personal evolution that continues as we age, creating an alternative view of aging that will resonate not just with seniors but with people of all ages. More details are available @ www.hiptobeold.com and a preview can be seen on our Pro-Aging page. The film was shown to great acclaim at the American Society on Aging’s 2022 International Conference on aging and is headlining the Greeley Colorado Film Festival on Aging in May 2023.
INNOVATION ECONOMY INITIATIVE 2017 TO 2020
Funded through contributions from ICET, local governments, SD47 and PRESS this initiative sought to find ways to leverage local cultural assets into actionable economic development plans for Powell River through business expansion and start-ups and delivery of training programs that support innovation and entrepreneurship. This initiative resulted in the creation of Powell River’s first co-working space for entrepreneurs, makers, techies, artists, and cultural innovators in the creative economy.
KʷAKʷƐM TRADITIONAL PLANT MEDICINE INITIATIVE 2020-2021
Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have been using the plants around them as medicine. In our area, there are more than 40 different linguistically significant local plant species with proven medicinal applications. The Kʷakʷɛm (“To Be Alive”) Traditional Plant Medicine Initiative was funded through a BC Civil Forfeiture Grant, to help re-invigorate local plant knowledge among members of Tla’amin First Nation.
TOURISM SECTOR LABOUR MARKET TRAINING 2019
PRESS received funding from WorkBC to deliver tourism sector training to First Nation participants within the traditional territories of Tla’amin Nation. The project brought together a highly motivated group of people and provided them with training, workplace skills, and on the job experience in multiple aspects of the tourism industry– one of the regional economy’s fastest-growing labour markets.
SNACKNATION BUSINESS PLAN 2019
This was a business plan for a local Social Enterprise, SNACKNATION, with a mission to increase food security in our region by establishing and operating value-added local agricultural infrastructure that included:
- A licenced food processing center with viable product lines produced in Powell River from local ingredients
- A point of sale site for local goods
- An online marketing, aggregating & sales platform that will improve retail and wholesale consumer access to locally produced and manufactured foods
In 2020, this plan is being used as the basis for an ambitious municipal funding application to BC agriculture.
FARM ECONOMY STUDY 2018
In 2018, PRESS completed a comprehensive and detailed study of opportunities and challenges within the local farm economy and led the re-design of the Powell River Farmer’s Institute website. This work included the identification of business and employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities within the agricultural sector in the region, especially in the management, harvest and processing of traditional plant medicines and foods in the forest understory.
CONSTRUCTION SECTOR LABOUR MARKET TRAINING 2018
PRESS received funding from WorkBC to deliver construction training to First Nation participants within the traditional territories of Tla’amin Nation. The project brought together a highly motivated group of people and provided them with the training, workplace skills, and on-site experience they need to be able to get and succeed at jobs in Powell River’s rapid construction sector, where developers are urgently seeking skilled workers to complete multiple housing projects.
HEHEWSHIN CANOE 2017
PRESS received an Aboriginal Arts Development Award from the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, in order to provide organizational support to the Chinook Collective’s vision of building a Cedar Dugout Canoe as a means of embodying the spirit and intent of Reconciliation. The members of the Collective believe the real challenge of our times is to recognize we are all in this together – that we are all in the same canoe. The Collective was united in this project, which they called Hehewshin – “The Way Forward.” The public aspect of this project had a number of goals: To artistically inspire the general public and deepen their understanding and appreciation of Coast Salish culture; to engage First Nation youth – and emerging artists of all demographics – in the traditional Coast Salish art of carving; and to provide a creative space, with mentors and resources, that would enable people to experience their individual artistry in the context of shared creation.
POWELL LAKE OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER (OLC) BUILD MANAGEMENT 2014
PRESS was instrumental in securing the funding and managing the building and development of the OLC. Intersecting the Powell Forest Canoe Route and the Sunshine Coast Trail, the OLC is part of a regional network of amenities providing eco-tourism programs and services to the public. PRESS continues to successfully pursue grants for youth internships and special projects at the Centre. Fully wheelchair accessible, the OLC has established itself as a change-maker and leader in the blending of Indigenous cultural knowledge with the adventure and personal growth focus of outdoor education programs.
KITIAMAT-STIKINE LABOUR MARKET AND TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS 2014
This report provided a reasoned framework within which Coast Mountains School District was able to move forward to create a local center for excellence in trades training, and act to increase relevant educational outcomes and sustainable economic health for its students and its community. The school district was in the extraordinary position of serving the Kitimat-Stikine regional district at a time when events of global historical significance were unfolding to position the region as a leader in oil and gas exports. As a result of this report, School District 82, with more than 5,000 students – over 40% of whom are Aboriginal, was able to take the lead in ensuring that their students have relevant educational options that allow them to take advantage of their local circumstances.
2008-2015 CAMP MANAGEMENT FOR TOBA HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT
This run of river hydroelectric infrastructure built on Klahoose First Nation traditional lands has become a model for BC First Nation economic development of natural resources. From 2008 to 2015, PRESS worked with the project partners (Klahoose First Nation, Plutonic Power, Alterra Power, Kiewitt Construction, SD47 and VIU) to manage multiple aspects of this project:
- Off-site certified trades training programs
- On-site supports for trades apprentices
- Operation of the remote camp housing 300 workers, including kitchen, accommodation, camp support staff scheduling, supervision and payroll, camp supply and transport logistics
2008 PRESS FOUNDED
PRESS is a BC-registered Indigenous-led non-profit society dedicated to identifying and removing barriers to economic success and social and cultural engagement faced by individuals or groups in the traditional Coast Salish territories. PRESS was incorporated in 2008 to manage an innovative partnership between educators, the private sector and Klahoose First Nation that provided diverse economic and social benefits to Coast Salish communities. True to its roots, PRESS continues to practice community-based innovation through imaginative and respectful use of natural resources and human talent in the traditional territories of the Klahoose, Tla’Amin and Homalco. PRESS has created ongoing, broad-based stakeholder groups around specific aspects of its mission statement, and brokered strong and effective working partnerships between government, First Nations, educators, local communities and big business in order to deliver successful educational, cultural, employment and economic development initiatives in coastal BC. A core intent of the society is to assist vulnerable, marginalized or at-risk individuals and groups to overcome social and economic barriers by developing meaningful skills in diverse settings. Those we serve include persons with disabilities, youth, seniors, women, First Nation communities and individuals, people on a low fixed income and individuals and families at risk of homeless.