On June 2nd, 2020, the Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis First Nation (KHFN) purchased Pierre’s at Echo Bay Lodge & Marina, located on Gilford Island in the beautiful Broughton Archipelago and in the heart of KHFN’s traditional territory.
The Echo Bay Marina is a full-service marina and lodge offering eco-tourism and boating opportunities. During peak tourism season (May to September), the Echo Bay Marina has been, and will remain, a key tourism staple and essential service destination in the Broughton Archipelago. Come winter, the lodge at Echo Bay will continue to provide accommodation for forestry workers and other field crews.
The Marina is only a fifteen-minute boat ride from KHFN’s main village of G̱wa’yasda̱ms. It is surrounded by an ancient KHFN village with the Kwak̓ wala name Ḵ ̓ wax̱wa̱lawadi, which was also a source for clams.
The KHFN community has long had an interest in joining the eco-tourism industry. The new owners look forward to maintaining relationships and communication with past clientele of Echo Bay, and existing businesses and industry. Over the coming years, KHFN will work diligently to expand current service offerings and integrate Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis culture to create a unique and positive experience for all.
This is a challenging time to take over a business. In the past, the main clientele at Echo Bay during the peak tourism season has been boaters visiting from the United States (U.S.). Due to the anticipated decrease in U.S. clientele, and other impacts related to COVID-19, KHFN expects to see less revenue generated than in previous peak tourism seasons. During the first year as new owners and operators, KHFN will be focusing on training new management and staff to run essential services such as the gas bar and post office.
Quote from Chief Rick: “Re-claiming ownership of this land within our traditional territory provides more than employment and economic development opportunities for Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis people. This community-driven initiative gives us more decision-making power in Kwiḵwa̱sut’inux̱w Haxwa’mis territories and builds on our goal of self-determination.”
KHFN leadership is delighted that Pierre Landry, the previous owner who has been involved in Echo Bay for decades, has agreed to work with the new owners for a smooth transition this summer.
Quote from Pierre Landry: “We are thrilled that KHFN have purchased the Echo Bay Marina and will be operating the business going forward. We wish the KHFN community all the best as they work on expanding and enhancing all that Echo Bay has to offer.”
The purchase was made possible, in part, by a Strategic Forest Initiatives agreement and funding from the British Columbia Provincial government to fund a forestry business. The marina at Echo Bay was deemed suitable for this funding as it serves as lodging for forestry field crews.