At the official opening of the Tobacco Plains Indian Band’s new administration and health building on Tuesday, youth planted a tree signifying new and continued growth in their community. Turn to page A7 for the full story. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

$3.3m administration and health building to benefit Tobacco Plains

A new multimillion-dollar facility will give a First Nations community south of Fernie room for future growth and more services.

The Tobacco Plains Indian Band is part of the Ktunaxa Nation and located in Grasmere on a reserve spanning 10,600 acres (4290ha) across southeastern B.C. to the U.S. border.

The community will benefit from a new administration and health building, which officially opened on Tuesday.

Construction of the Tobacco Plains Administration and Health Building took about a year and cost $3.3 million.

It was jointly funded by the band, First Nations Health Authority, Columbia Basin Trust, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Teck Coal and B.C. Museums Association.

Band Administrator Tania Brewer said the facility would allow growth for community gathering and health services, and continued services for elders, youth and families within the community.

“The Tobacco Plains Administration and Health Building will provide all services as previously offered,” she said.

“However, with the additional space we will be able to look at growing and creating new programs and services.

“One area, that will grow right away is the youth program as we now have a larger hall for youth activities.”

About 100 people attended the grand opening of the building on Tuesday, which featured a blessing, the planting of a tree, a ribbon cutting and a tour of the facility.

On August 3, 2017, the Tobacco Plains band broke ground at the new facility. Dirt kept from the groundbreaking ceremony was used at the grand opening to plant a new tree atop the hill overlooking the new facility.

This new tree represents the ongoing growth of the Tobacco Plains community.


Tobacco Plains Indian Band Chief Mary Mahseelah cuts the ribbon signifying the official opening of the Tobacco Plains Administration and Health Building. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Just Posted

City commissions another fire hall roof study

Fernie City Council has authorized staff to reallocate the existing budget from… Continue reading

Pride Festival just around the corner

The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner,… Continue reading

Kootenay Learning Campus opens in Fernie

School District 5 celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the… Continue reading

Diamond of the Elk Valley turns 30

Island Lake Lodge, located only 14 km from Fernie, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Fernie Fire Department celebrates FireSmart education

“The greatest safety is a neighbourhood that is FireSmart,” said Alan Westhaver.

Trails in Fernie’s Ridgemont area reopen

Fernie Trails Alliance urging trail users to abide by and obey closures still in place

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read