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Metlakatla Nation improves local harvesting opportunities through Port partnership


PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The coastal community of Metlakatla will be starting to harvest homegrown fresh produce year-round thanks to a contribution from the Port of Prince Rupert’s Community Investment Fund.

Metlakatla’s community greenhouse was officially opened today by community leaders, residents and an appreciative number of guests who traveled the short distance by water to the neighbouring community. The Metlakatla Governing Council identified the development of the greenhouse as a priority for the community, given their geographical isolation in Northern British Columbia. Through extensive community consultation, the greenhouse was centrally located and designed with the wants and needs of the entire community in mind, delivering key benefits of health and nutrition.

“This project not only enables residents of Metlakatla to produce their own healthy food supply, but it provides a means of allowing access to fresh, healthy produce for our youth, elders and community celebrations for generations to come,” said Harold Leighton, Metlakatla Chief Councillor. “We recognize and greatly appreciate the financial contribution of the Port of Prince Rupert to make the goal of a fully functioning greenhouse in Metlakatla a reality.”

The greenhouse initiative contributes to Metlakatla’s community health plan, and provides the basis for training in agricultural and growing practices. Food preservation and preparation workshops are planned to be hosted in the community kitchens, adding another dimension to enhancing shared knowledge and seasonal celebrations. The spacious greenhouse structure has been planted with root vegetables as well as above-ground plants.

The Port of Prince Rupert is pleased to have contributed half of the $93,246 capital cost of Metlakatla’s Greenhouse Project through its Community Investment Fund, and is confident the greenhouse project will have lasting health and wellness benefits for the community.

“We’re fortunate to be surrounded by a pristine environment that provides an abundance of natural, renewable food sources,” said Maynard Angus, Manager of Aboriginal Affairs for the Port of Prince Rupert. “However, our geography limits the ability to source fresh, affordable produce, and we’re pleased to assist the people of Metlakatla Nation with this community investment to continue improving their collective quality of life.” 

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The Community Investment Fund is financed by a share of the Port’s annual net income that has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents of the North Coast. By investing these funds into community projects, led mostly by dedicated local volunteers, the Port has been able to share its financial success with the communities that enable it. Since 2010, over eight million dollars have been committed, helping to make more than 50 local projects come to life. Each of these projects has filled an important role in supporting sports, recreation, performing arts, health, education, the environment and other needs in the community.