The Huu-ay-aht First Nation has offered to buy the former Canada Post Office building on Argyle Street, chief councillor Jeff Cook said.
More than 80 per cent of Huu-ay-aht citizens live off reserve so an administration building in Port Alberni makes sense, executive director James Edwards said.
Cook announced the development at the tribe’s press conference about its LNG project on July 9.
“We’ve accepted an offer for the former post office the week of July 1,” Edwards said.
“But we have to do our due diligence yet and look at the environmental issues, electrical, mechanical and building code.”
If accepted, the Huu-ay-aht plan to use the 4,495-square foot building as an administration base for its head office and a daycare, Edwards said.
“We just added 10 new staff so we’ve outgrown our present location on lower Third Avenue,” he said.
The tribe has a new administration building in Huu-ay-aht.
But according to the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the tribe has a population of 684 people as of June 2014, 132 – 20 per cent—of which live on reserve.
More than 80 per cent of Huu-ay-aht citizens live off reserve, 40 per cent of whom live in Port Alberni.
Huu-ay-aht people make their homes in Port Alberni to be closer to work and education opportunities, as well as to take advantage of infrastructure, Cook said.
The new building is uptown, centrally located and is on a transit route so it made it an attractive location. “It’s where our people are,” Edwards said.
Tribal officials looked at other locations but didn’t find them suitable, he said.
Officials were aware of but didn’t look at the library at the old ADSS site on Burde Street, Edwards said.