Economic Development

Esh-kn-am Investments Joint Venture is a partnership between Cook’s Ferry, Coldwater, Nooaitch and Siska First Nations. Esh-kn-am Cultural Resources Management Services collects data on these communities’ traditional and cultural uses, practices and protocols. The information is put into a Geotechnical Information System (GIS) for analysis and interpretation. The data is used by partnering Bands for land management planning, educational purposes, negotiations as well as to co-manage and co-steward their natural resources.

Stuwix Resources Joint Venture is a partnership between Upper Similkameen, Upper Nicola, Nooaitch, Shackan, Coldwater, Siska and Cook’s Ferry Bands. Stuwix Resources is a fibre management and marketing company. It incorporates First Nation culture and traditional use practices at the initial resource planning stage. Stuwix started harvesting in June 2005 and has harvested more than 2.6 million cubic metres of timber on 7,975 hectares of land and planted more than 8 million trees.

Even though there were six sawmills in the Merritt area, prior to Stuwix there were no First Nation contractors. By being given an opportunity through Stuwix to develop their businesses, there are now six First Nation entrepreneurs that do stump to truck harvesting. They have become some of the best contractors in the area and are hired by many forest companies in the area. These First Nation contractors have won awards and have employed over 100 Aboriginal people. Their businesses have put millions of dollars into their communities.

Cook’s Ferry also operates Basque Ranch. The ranch is spread over 450 irrigated acres and operates grazing licenses on Cook’s Ferry traditional lands near Spences Bridge.

Eight communities of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, including Cook’s Ferry, reached an agreement with Teck Highland Valley Copper Partnership (“Teck”) and the Province of British Columbia (“Province”) that provides the communities with preferred employment and contracting opportunities. Participating Bands include:

  • Ashcroft Indian Band:
  • Boston Bar First Nation,
  • Coldwater Indian Band
  • Cook’s Ferry Indian Band
  • Nicomen Indian Band
  • Nooaitch Indian Band
  • Shackan Indian Band
  • Siska Indian Band.

Through the Nlaka’pamux Legacy Trust, the eight Bands also receive profit sharing and will also create a legacy trust that will grow to eventually be a self-sustaining funding source for the Bands. The Citwx Nlaka’pamux Assembly oversees the NLX Trust and distributions for the eight Bands. For more information about this agreement, see