New plan will explore diversification and sustainability opportunities

COURTENAY, 28 April 2022 – The Uchucklesaht Tribe Government (UTG) will develop a five-year plan for community sustainability and prosperity, with funding support from Island Coastal Economic Trust’s READY program.

The Uchucklesaht Tribe is comprised of approximately 300 members.  Most of these citizens are living within the City of Port Alberni and a dozen currently living full time in the newly constructed homes in the traditional village of Ehthlateese, located, about 40 kilometers from Port Alberni down the Alberni Inlet. There are other Uchucklesaht members living well beyond the City of Port Alberni and the Traditional Territories who would love to return home if the economic opportunities were available to them.

Currently, UTG’s economic assets are based primarily on fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, residential real estate, and fresh water bottled beverage products. The existing economic development strategy was started 10 years ago, and no longer fully reflects all of the Nation’s current economic state and business and community interests.

“This project is a great fit for our economic capacity building funding stream,” says Aaron Stone, ICET Board Chair. “Developing a clear plan that optimizes human and natural resource strengths will ensure the UTG is well-positioned to attract new visitors and investments to the area and offer cascading economic benefits to the region as a whole.”

A comprehensive, community-led planning process will examine opportunities in tourism, value-added wood biomass, seafood processing, craft retailing and rental housing, as well as explore new product lines for existing food and beverage activities, among other prospective opportunities.

“Since the last strategy was developed, a lot has changed: UTG has leveraged its Treaty Nation status with an economic self-sufficiency mission, its business interests and opportunities have evolved significantly, and so too has the world after two years of the global pandemic”, says UTG Economic Development Manager David McCormick. “Throughout, the UTG has demonstrated itself to be extremely resilient, progressive, forward-thinking and active in its efforts to grow its income streams.”

This strategic planning exercise will include business environment scans for known areas of economic interest, extensive research into emerging sectors, and a comprehensive toolkit of current and future activities and investments.

The project is supported with funding from ICET’s READY – Capacity Building Program, through the Economic Development Strategy funding stream. The project is expected to formally commence on May 1st.

For more information on the READY – Capacity Building Program, please visit our website: www.islandcoastaltrust.ca


About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional governments, non-profits and Indigenous communities, ICET serves over half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $55 million in funding for over 280 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2600 construction phase jobs and 2750 long-term permanent jobs. To learn more, visit

For further information:
Hilary Muth, Communications Coordinator
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 228)