A bear crosses the Fraser River east of the Agassiz-Rosedale bridge

Arms wide open at Cheam

Popkum area band welcomes fishermen to their territory

On the north side of the Fraser River, a small crowd gathered to celebrate the beginning of a new venture. The Cheam First Nation band is opening their arms wide to visitors in their territory — pushing aside past conflicts and animosity with other fishing groups — by opening the Cheam Fishing Village.

Everyone will be welcome. Everyone can stay and feel at home, said Ernie Victor.

On the south side of the river, almost across from the new campsite area, a bear gently glides into the Fraser for a swim. Everyone moves to catch a sight of the animal, barely visible as he crosses the water.

“It’s a good sign,” someone says.

“A strong spirit,” says another.

Everyone watches as he lumbers out of the water and across the sandbar, before disappearing behind trees and into the water once again.

They say if you want to find a fishing spot, just watch for bears, Victor says.

But all fisherman who call these reaches of the Fraser River home know that the area is a salmon smorgasbord. Now, they’ll enjoy unfettered access to a boat launch area and a reliable place to set up an RV, picnic tables included.

“People come to our community and they get taken care of,” Victor said. “This is taking it another step forward, we are opening our doors, our land, our sacred space.”

Following a traditional welcome song, council member Lincoln Douglas joined Ed George, vice-president of the BC Wildlife Federation, and Theresa Fresco from the Fraser Basin Council on the river’s edge. Together, the trio cast out a ceremonial line.

It was a symbol of their new partnership and willingness to work together, a concept that’s also the impetus behind a FBC initiative called Harmony on the Fraser.

For George, the campsite has been a long time coming.

“I’ve been going down here for years (on a boat) and saying I want a campsite right there,” he said. “And here it is.”

He is hoping to come back to fish for real, once the fisheries announces this summer’s opening.

The new campsite includes 45 sites, a fire pit, boat launch, day parking, riverside trails and picnic tables. It’s the newest venture among the 200 aboriginally-owned businesses in Sto:lo territory.

Staying at the campsite ranges from $25 to $40 a night, and will directly benefit the Cheam First Nation band.

Access to the site is via the eastern Whelpton Road, keeping east on Dyke Road. A short road has been upgraded to access the newly built campsite.

Cheam has also upgraded its Cheam Trading Post, a wholesale and retail outlet for salmon. It’s also a new place to pick up soft fruits grown in Okanagan Indian Band orchards.

For more information, visit www.cheamfishingvillage.com.

 

 

 

Just Posted

River Monsters attract nearly 300 swimmers to their two-day meet

This was the third year for the now-annual event

PHOTOS: Sasquatch Days about ‘being proud of being Sts’ailes’

The joint event between Harrison and Sts’ailes returned to the village for its eighth year

‘This was my baby’: Music teacher to retire after 29 years at Kent Elementary

Brenda Di Rezze will be saying goodbye to her music room at the end of this school year

New Farmer’s Market coming to downtown Hope

Markets will be hosted every Friday on 3rd Avenue

SD78 growth plan to focus on inclusive learning, reading

Data collection and collaboration will help schools meet goals, superintendent says

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read