Canada invests in Indigenous-led active transportation projects in northern British Columbia

News release

Nisga’a Village of Gitlaxt’aamiks, British Columbia, March 10, 2023 — Today, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced a federal investment of more than $1.7 million to support three Indigenous-led active transportation projects in northern British Columbia.

The Nisga’a Village of Gitlaxt’aamix is receiving funding for the construction of a new sidewalk on Tait Avenue, which will extend nearly 1 kilometer through the community’s southern residential area and provide a safe connection for residents to access the community health centre, church, and recreation centre. Crosswalks, benches and signage will also be installed. The drainage and stormwater management system will be built to be resilient to climate change.

Funding will also support the construction of the Witset Canyon Connection project, a multi-use pathway along Highway 16 in Wiset First Nation. This project will enable the creation of a separate pedestrian pathway, ensuring all members of the community have a safe place to walk and bike, and improving access to cultural activities and traditional fishing.

Lake Babine Nation is also receiving funding to build a pathway with solar-powered lighting connecting Sus Avenue to William Konkin Elementary School in the Village of Burns Lake. These upgrades will significantly reduce the walking time for students to get to school and will make it easier and more convenient for residents to choose active transportation for their daily commutes.

The funding announced today supports Canada’s National Active Transportation Strategy by expanding networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges.

Applications under the Active Transportation Fund for planning and capital projects from eligible Indigenous recipients continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis. A minimum of 10% of the total funding envelope has been allocated for Indigenous recipients to ensure Indigenous communities have access to the Fund. Additionally, Indigenous communities may receive up to 100% of eligible project costs for capital projects that encourage increased active transportation.

By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.


“As we look to the future, it’s vitally important that we keep making investments in our public infrastructure here in northern British Columbia. The active transportation projects announced today will make it easier and safer for community members to keep active and will make our communities better places to live, work and play.”

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“The Tait Avenue sidewalk project includes an 850m sidewalk that will provide safe access to community, recreation, and health amenities for the surrounding residential area and greater community. The project is planned for Gitlaxt’aamiks, an Indigenous community within the self-governing Nisga’a Nation in Northern BC.”

Project Delivery Team, Nisga’a Village of Gitlaxt’aamiks

“Witset First Nation is thankful for the Government of Canada’s support in building a safe and accessible pathway to our canyon. This will keep pedestrians of all ages and mobility types off this busy stretch of highway. We are excited for our first accessible trail that will also increase the physical activity and overall health for our community. Thank you!”

Chief Barry Nikal, Chief of Witset First Nation

“We have always had a great working relationship with the Village of Burns Lake and this is exciting for us to once again have an opportunity to receive a grant from the wonderful people from the Active Transportation Fund. We are a growing community and one that is making positive improvements in our communities and these projects help us with our goals. Much thanks to all involved in making this happen from my colleagues in Lake Babine to the Village of Burns Lake to Active Transportation Fund team.”

Bernard Patrick, Chief Operations Officer for Lake Babine Nation

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $1,760,480 in these projects through the Active Transportation Fund. The Nisga’a Village of Gitlaxt’aamix will receive $1,121,750 towards the Tait Avenue Sidewalk project, Wiset First Nation will benefit from $380,730 towards the Witset Canyon Connection project, and Lake Babine Nation will receive $258,000 for the Sus Avenue and William Konkin Elementary School project. 

  • Active transportation refers to the movement of people or goods powered by human activity, and includes walking, cycling and the use of human-powered or hybrid mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, e-bikes, rollerblades, snowshoes and cross-country skis and more.

  • The Active Transportation Fund will provide $400 million over five years to make travel by active transportation easier, safer, more convenient and more enjoyable, in support of Canada's first National Active Transportation Strategy. Municipal governments, local and regional governments such as service districts, and Indigenous organizations are eligible recipients for the Active Transportation Fund. Provinces, territories, and not-for-profit organizations are also eligible in specific circumstances.

  • Canada's National Active Transportation Strategy is the country's first coast-to-coast-to-coast strategic approach for promoting active transportation and its benefits. The strategy’s aim is to make data-driven and evidence-based investments to build new and expanded active transportation networks and to create safe environments for more equitable, healthy, active and sustainable travel options to thrive.

  • Active transportation infrastructure provides many tangible benefits, creating good middle-class jobs, growing the economy, promoting healthier lifestyles, advancing equity amongst vulnerable Canadians, cutting air and noise pollution, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in safer active transportation infrastructure is key to ensuring people of all ages and abilities can access jobs and services and connect with their communities.

  • Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and/or environmental assessments, as well as the signing of the contribution agreements.

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Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

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