Langley business brings new library to Bella Bella

When a fire left the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, B.C. without a library in 2013, a Langley company stepped in to donate a building for a new library.

This week, the Heiltsuk First Nation celebrated the grand opening of that new library facility, made possible by the Langley-based Britco structures.

The new library is part of Britco’s community literacy Initiative, which sees the company working in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Rotary International, and a number of other community partners to provide First Nations library facilities to remote communities throughout the province, explained president Mike Ridley.

“We’re glad to be able to help Heiltsuk First Nation rebuild after the fire as part of our community literacy Initiative,” Ridley said.

“Britco is proud to be working Lieutenant Governor the Hon. Judith Guichon and Government House on projects like these.”

This initiative was started by Hon. Steven Point, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who began working with First Nations in remote locations around the province and community partners to support literacy initiatives shortly after his appointment as lieutenant governor.

Britco has made the commitment to provide a total of 14 community library buildings for this innovative literacy initiative.

“How Britco has been able to transform these buildings into libraries for remote communities is nothing short of remarkable,” said Point. “Many First Nations communities in BC will benefit from their generosity.”

The Heiltsuk First Nation Library boasts shelving made from Heiltsuk territory cedar that was cut, dried, milled and finished in the community. Thousands of books were donated from people all over the world.

“Contributions from community-minded companies like Britco make the challenges related to rebuilding after the fire a reality,” said Marilyn Slett, chief councillor for the Heiltsuk First Nation. “We’re very grateful to have so much support.”

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