Every First Nation family has the opportunity to have a home on their own land in a strong community.
Leq’á:Mél First Nation
Leq’á:mél, meaning the level place where people meet, was once one of the most popular trading stops in Stó:lō territory. It was also said to have been the birthplace of Halq’eméylem; the word itself stems from the dialect spoken by the Nicoamen/ Leq’á:mél. Leq’á:mél was home to many of the longhouses, some recorded almost a kilometer long. Historically our affiliates were the Sumas, Scowlitz, Matsqui and Nooksack tribes. Leq’á:mél sits on the borderline of the Upper/Lower river dialects of the language, hence the translation of Leq’á:mél from Nicoamen.
Leq’á:mél First Nation is an Indian Band located in Deroche, 22 kilometers east of Mission, population approx. 420. Leq’á:mél holds ten Indian Reserves, Yaalstick IR #1, Lackaway IR #2, Lakway Cemetery IR #3, Papekwatchin IR #4, Aylechootlook IR #5, Holachten IR #8, Zaitscullachan IR #9, Skweahm IR #10, Lakahahmen IR #11 and Sumas Cemetery IR #12. Leq’á:mél utilizes three of these reserves for residential use, two as cemeteries and as for the other five, they are either: under a certificate of possession to members; leased for agricultural use; or held for future economic development.
Leq’á:mél First Nation has a private home lenders program for member’s to access. The Nation’s housing portfolio, consisting of approximately 51 houses with 17 houses — Section 95, 24 houses — Section 10, 7 private homeowners and 10 CP’s transferred to family after the mortgage is paid in full. Two private homes were constructed in the community over just the last two years, with private lender financing support. Service lots in the community include water, sewer and electricity. The Nation currently has 12 lots available for members to build their new home.
“Leq’á:mél First Nation is proud of the opportunity to work with First Nations Market Housing Fund. We saw the need for innovative housing for our citizens and their need for renovating existing homes in the community. Our approach will be guided by our current housing policy that will be updated with support from the Fund and used to educate our citizens on recent changes with a view to building more homes with the Fund’s backing.”
— Chief Alice Thompson (July 2015)