The Ashcroft Band began dreaming about developing gas station on its land along the Trans Canada years ago. It began as an idea from Chief Greg Blain. When the Husky Station burned down in Cache Creek, the Chief approached the company and suggested the Ashcroft Reserve would be an ideal spot to rebuild. They declined, but Chief Blain never let go of the idea.
Goodwill, hard work and creative thinking lead to the mineral tax sharing agreement between the Ashcroft Band and the BC Liberal government.
“The money we accessed through that agreement gave us credibility with banks and allowed us to begin negotiating and making plans with Imperial Oil. We found more good partners with On-the-Run and Esso,” says Chief Blain. “We then began construction in the fall of 2013. There were a lot things we had to work out, but with help of our partners, the Ashcroft Band Council pulled it all together and we now have what we know will be a very successful operation. We are already seeing revenues.”
“That agreement with BC Liberal government was critical to what we are doing here now. I don’t mind saying that it helped us tremendously.”
The Ashcroft Band
The Ashcroft Indian Band has occupied these lands for 6000 years. It is a small band with a strong community. There are about 270 band members living on and off reserve. The Band Council leadership believes in creating a positive environment in the community and works to make the community a healthy, safe and good place to live.
Over the last ten years the Band has built a Health Centre and arranged for regular visits from a nurse in the region. The Centre also provides everything from help for new mothers to computer training, weekly luncheon socials, vaccination programs, and special events for elders.
Many homes have been repaired, renovated and updated over the last several years with plans to do more repairs in the future. After the wildfire, 8 new homes were built and the band is currently finishing an elder’s 6-plex that includes 6 open concept 1 bedroom homes.
The reserve went online in 2012 and everyone has very affordable access to the internet.
Our Round House, which will host community functions, seminars, workshops and meetings is also in its’ finishing stages. The Round House kit was generously donated to the Ashcroft Indian Band by the Skeetchestn Indian Band after the 2017 Fire.
Within the next two to three years the community will get a new fresh water supply to replace the current system.
The Band sets aside money every year for training and education of young people and many have gone on to college or university and even studied overseas.