Sen̓áḵw Groundbreaking Ceremony



On September 6th, a select group of approximately 100 industry professionals, Squamish Nation Leaders, and Canadian politicians, including the Prime Minister himself, gathered underneath the Burrard Street Bridge for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Sen̓áḵw housing development. Among this group was our Business Development Manager, Brad Tangjerd, who witnessed the ceremony and represented the NorLand family. Sen̓áḵw is a new development project in False Creek, whose land is solely owned by Nch’kaỷ, the economic development arm of the Squamish Nation. The development project will be completed by Nch’kaỷ West, a 50/50 partnership between Nch’kaỷ and Westbank Project Corp. Having received a $1.4 Billion loan from the Federal government, Sen̓áḵw is the largest First Nations economic development project in Canadian history, boasting over 4,000,000ft2, 11 towers, 1200+ affordable homes, and 6000+ rental units. The development will also lead the charge for climate action, with aspirations to be carbon neutral in operation through recapturing waste heat from Metro Vancouver’s sewer infrastructure. NorLand has been a recognized business partner of the Squamish Nation for over seven years, and we are thrilled to have been awarded the project’s phase 1 excavation and shoring package, and Limited Notice to Proceed for the Civil Package. This project is a big step for the Squamish Nation, and we are proud to be working on a project that so beautifully encapsulates our company’s shared purpose of Helping Build Enduring Communities, Together. 

Sen̓áḵw got its name from a village that once stood where the development will be built. Although the land was supposed to be a protected reserve for the Squamish Nation, in 1913, the government expropriated the land, put its residents on a barge to bring them to the North Shore, and burned their houses to make way for Vancouver’s expansion. This act was later found to be illegal, and in 2003, 10.48 acres of that land was returned to the Squamish Nation. This development project serves as a re-establishment of Indigenous presence in the area, with design inspirations stemming from the traditional oral storytelling and values of the Squamish Nation and the community’s deep embrace of nature. It’s also seen by many community members as a significant step toward reconciliation in Vancouver, as this is the largest development project in Canada that is owned, operated, and controlled by Indigenous People. Because the project resides on reserve land, the development does not fall under the influence of city bylaws or the development permitting processes. This means the project can move forward quickly, with the aim to finish construction in the next five years. 

NorLand Limited is proud of the relationships and partnerships we’ve built within the Indigenous Communities we have the privilege to work in. Brad Tangjerd states, “The groundbreaking ceremony was a very proud event for me to attend. I’m thankful to have been given the invitation, and I’m grateful for all of the relationships I’ve been able to build within these communities.” He goes on to say, “Political views aside, Canada is a special place to live when you can be given the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister.” NorLand has been working with the Squamish Nation for almost a decade and believes that the only way to create a better future for everyone is if we work together and listen to one another with respect. We are proud to have the opportunity to work on this incredible project and are hopeful that it is the first of many to come.

Learn more and view the renderings here:

Written by Devon Sacré