Xatśūll Heritage Village Developments Increase Tourist Visits and Local Spending in Soda Creek

Soda Creek Indian Band (Xatśūll First Nations)

2012-The Xatśūll Heritage Village is located on a traditional Xatśūll First Nation site, approximately 35km north of Williams Lake adjacent to the Fraser River. It was developed in 1996 as a step toward cultural revitalization for youth and elders within the community. The village was intended to be used as a meeting place where spiritual, cultural and traditional ways of life could be shared.

Currently, the Xatśūll Heritage Village is being used as a cultural tourism site during the summer, as well as for community use during the off seasons for traditional ceremonies, gatherings and activities such as fishing. With funding from the Government of Canada's Community Adjustment Fund, delivered by Northern Development, the Soda Creek Indian Band was able make significant enhancements to this important First Nations cultural tourism asset in the Cariboo.

Under this project, a new viewpoint overlooking the heritage site was constructed that extended the existing safety fence along the Fraser River, and a new traditionally constructed pit house was built at the site that tourists can now book for a unique overnight accommodation experience. Additionally, a covered meeting area with picnic tables that can be used by both community members and visitors to the site was constructed.

With all of the improvements to the area, guests now really achieve an authentic experience of what it is like to visit a traditional Xatśūll village many years ago.

"I grew up in Soda Creek, and used to walk through the village when it was nothing but overgrown grass. I would fish down at the fishing site, and it always created a sense of peace for me. I began working for my community in 2006 as the Tourism Coordinator, and through this position I learned a lot about the history of my people from the elders who had worked at the village since 1996.  Thank you Northern Development for helping us improve our home."

Rhonda Phillips, Band Administrator, Soda Creek Indian Band

Positive Economic Impacts in Soda Creek

The community of Soda Creek and the Xatśūll First Nation have faced hard times with the economic downturn in the Cariboo region. After many layoffs, the Nation felt that there was little new opportunity for employment in the local area. The Xatśūll Heritage Village now anchors a suite of growing tourism products created by the Soda Creek Indian Band.

By enhancing the Xatśūll Heritage Village, the Soda Creek Indian Band was able to provide employment to four community members throughout the project. They have significantly increased the usage of the site by both tourists and community members alike.

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