Heron

səmiq̓ʷəʔelə (Pronounced Suh-mEE-kwuh EL-uh)

The Site

səmiq̓ʷəʔelə (pronounced suh-mEE-kwuh EL-uh) – meaning Place of the Great Blue Heron – is within the ancestral and core territory of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm. This 244-acre site is home to several of B.C.’s mental health and substance use programs and a unique ecosystem of trees, plans and wildlife.

The Project

Through a reconciliation-based partnership, BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm are working in consultation with various groups to create a redevelopment plan for the site’s future.

The Vision and Comprehensive Community Plan

The Vision for the site established themes of reconciliation, mental health care, ecological stewardship and housing. The comprehensive community plan will implement the principles from this Vision.

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The səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview site is a 244-acre site in the core and traditional territories of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation). For roughly 100 years, this site was a hub for mental health care in B.C. kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and BC Housing are pleased to return this site back to a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ name. It will now be called səmiq̓ʷəʔelə, meaning “Place of the Great Blue Heron.” In March 2021, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and BC Housing launched the Comprehensive Community Planning phase of the site’s redevelopment.