NANAIMO — It's a huge addition for the land-starved Snuneymuxw First Nation.
SFN officially unveiled its new $5-million Recreation and Wellness Centre on Thursday.
Snuneymuxw chief John Wesley says having this facility will encourage more people in the community to be active and lead to better health outcomes.
The chief sees this project is a game-changer in many ways for the community, from a sport and recreation perspective, to a place where community gatherings can happen.
“We don't have much land here, but the land we have, we took this opportunity and ran with it, just for the sake of the youth,” says Wesley.
The 14,000 sq/ft facility features a gym, fitness facility, multi-purpose room, kitchen and and convenience store.
Registration is already open for various fitness classes, including boot camp and yoga, which are offered through the Snuneymuxw First Nation owned and operated complex located at the base of Totem Road.
Wesley hopes this addition to the community is just the beginning of new recreational opportunities for Snuneymuxw.
He'd like to see a soccer field built on SFN Reserve #1 some day.
About 150 people, including politicians at the local and senior government level, attended a community celebration to mark the recreation centre's opening Thursday.
It was a celebration that was a long time coming.
“We've been waiting for a long time for this gym, decades.”