Bella Bella (May 17, 2019) – Heiltsuk Horizon, a partnership of the Heiltsuk First Nation and Horizon Maritime Services, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a Government of Canada contract to provide marine services to enhance marine safety in Heiltsuk territory.

Heiltsuk Horizon will begin immediate work to provide tug and barge services for the reconstruction of 28 navigational aids on British Columbia’s Central Coast, with support from the Shearwater Marine Group.

The Canadian government collaborated with the Heiltsuk and Nuxalk Nations, and the Central Coast Indigenous Alliance and Central Coast Archeology on development of the project.  The initiative will feature cultural awareness-raising for all participants with the unique inclusion of a daily Heiltsuk Heritage Moment, to take place after morning safety meetings.

Heiltsuk Horizon aims to maximize economic participation of Heiltsuk Nation members as a core value of its business ventures.  The company anticipates the project will employ six Heiltsuk members for the four to six-week project. Heiltsuk Horizon will also be seeking community participation to support logistical requirements, including food, catering, accommodations and water taxi services.  Job openings will be posted on the Heiltsuk Tribal Council’s website under Current Employment Opportunities.

Heiltsuk Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt, provided valuable leadership in helping to bring all project participants together.  “I am pleased with this first contract and look forward to the growth of our partnership,” says Hemas Humchitt.

“Securing this contract with Canada is an exciting first opportunity for Heiltsuk Horizon to demonstrate our expertise in delivering world-class marine services to enhance marine safety in our waters,” says Heiltsuk Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett.

“It will provide much-needed jobs for experienced Heiltsuk mariners and other community members, and support our vision to build a truly sustainable future, while protecting the ecologically-sensitive waters of the Central Coast.”

Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services announced its unique First Nation/industry partnership in May 2018 with the goal of preventing marine emergencies and improving marine emergency response capacity in Indigenous and coastal communities on Canada’s West Coast.

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About Heiltsuk Horizon:  A Partnership that brings together the millennia-old stewardship and seafaring heritage of the Heiltsuk Nation with the offshore and marine industry experience of Horizon Maritime.  Through our shared values and commitment to protecting the marine environment, we are demonstrating how industry and First Nation communities can work effectively together.  A driving focus of the partnership is to develop the capacity and resources for an Indigenous Marine Response Centre in Bella Bella while pursuing opportunities to protect our coastal marine environment as we look to build a sustainable future.

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