Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell (centre) with (from left) Kevin Cook, past-chief Willard Cook, councillor Joanne Charles and TYBO Contracting president Len Lauriente. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Joint-venture agreement with Semiahmoo First Nation to ‘create opportunities’

Water-infrastructure work among on- and off-reserve projects eyed by SFN, TYBO

New signage went up on fencing around Semiahmoo Park this week, promoting a move that Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell says isn’t unique among First Nations communities – but it is significant for SFN.

“It’s a new way of doing business,” Chappell told Peace Arch News, of the joint-venture agreement that SFN now has with TYBO Contracting Ltd.

“It’s not an anomaly. It might be here, for Semiahmoo First Nation – it’s one of our first partnerships. We’re working on a few others.”

The agreement took effect “four or five months ago” but came to the public’s attention on Wednesday morning, when large signs bearing the two groups’ names and “Building a Legacy In Our Community” were affixed to the chainlink fencing that has surrounded the park since early 2011.

The signage sparked some speculation from area residents that a major development may be in the works for the park site.

Chappell and TYBO president Len Lauriente didn’t identify specific plans, but did say “a few projects” were in the works. Chappell added that any enhancements to the reserve land “will benefit everybody.”

It’s hoped that infrastructure upgrades that are needed for the upcoming connection to City of Surrey services will be undertaken by the joint venture, Lauriente said.

Lauriente said the joint venture agreement will mean jobs for both TYBO and the SFN; for SFN, it also opens the doors to economic opportunities outside of the band’s traditional territory.

“Semiahmoo is kind of… a special circumstance,” Chappell said.

“All of our natural, traditional economic opportunities don’t exist in our traditional territory (any more). We can’t reconcile with any environmental benefit.”

The joint venture is all part of moving the SFN community forward, he said.

“Then we become self-governing, self-driven,” Chappell said. “We want to get to a point where our community is self-sufficient, self-determining.”

Lauriente, a South Surrey resident, noted TYBO underwent a “vigorous” interview process prior to SFN selecting the company for the joint venture.

He and Chappell agreed that a central component to the relationship is mutual respect.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


‘Building a legacy’ signage marks the joint venture partnership between Semiahmoo First Nation and TYBO Construction Ltd. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JUNE 6: ‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre; B.C. starts to see employment return

Surrey student earns TD Community Leadership scholarship

Harjot Bal recognized for his One Blood For Life Foundation

UPDATE: Missing 37-year-old woman has been found

Cheryl Brovold was last seen June 2 in the 15800-block of 96th Avenue

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read

l -->