BCBusiness + Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine
Credit: NORTHERN BC TOURISM / ANDREW STRAIN
Nestled against a majestic landscape dominated by 3,000-foot walls of the rugged Stekyoden Mountain Range is a place where culture, recreation and exciting business opportunities meet.
This is the Hazeltons — comprised of two municipalities (the Village of Hazelton and District of New Hazelton), four unincorporated communities (South Hazelton, Two Mile, Kitwanga and the Kispiox Valley), and seven First Nations’ villages (Gitanmaax, Sik-E Dakh, Kispiox, Gitwangak, Gitanyow, Gitsegukla and Hagwilget).
It is an area with unsurpassed scenic beauty, wilderness and modern recreation, Indigenous culture, trophy salmon fishing, and a friendly frontier lifestyle, with close proximity to Terrace, Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Smithers. The typical assessed value for a house in the Hazeltons is $ 164,000 — nearly half the cost of property in the neighboring communities and 26% lower than the provincial average.
“Quainter than their neighbors and arguably most picturesque, these welcoming communities are shaped by their roots in First Nations and pioneer culture and are full of potential,” says Walsham Tenshak, Economic Development Officer for the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.
NORTHERN BC TOURISM / ANDREW STRAINThe region has key economic opportunities worthy of long-term investment. Public administration, tourism, forestry and agriculture are the main existing industries. “Combined, the communities have the necessary conditions for successful tourism and agriculture businesses,” Tenshak says. “While more rural than neighboring communities, the Hazeltons have fiber optic internet, major road networks and train access to other communities. The Hazeltons offer all the beauty of a rural lifestyle combined with the opportunity to work remotely, operate your homebased business or study online. ”
NORTHERN BC TOURISM / ANDREW STRAINJacob Beaton lives in Kitwanga with his wife and two sons. He owns and operates Tea Creek, an Indigenousled, land-based, culturally safe trades and Indigenous Food Sovereignty training initiative. He previously worked as a business consultant and had to stop traveling because of the pandemic. Around the same time, weather events started disrupting food chains and increasing prices, a trend that is continuing today.
“We didn’t realize we could produce a lot of food until we were introduced to high intensity, small scale growing,” Beaton says. “We started researching and discovered that small farmers produce most of the world’s food supply.”
Next, Beaton developed training courses in small scale land farming, tractor farming and indoor farming, which have already trained 58 people since January 2021, and has over 60 Indigenous people signed up for training in 2022. The concept is to train as many Indigenous people in trades and food production as possible, to increase local food production and food sovereignty.
“Now, training is Tea Creek’s main offering and food is the byproduct,” Beaton says. “We love the challenge, and we love working with participants and trainees. We help build confidence, competency, and skills, and everything else comes from that. ”
Discover how to launch your lifestyle business in the Hazeltons where natural wonder, ancient culture, frontier history and opportunities come together.
Learn more | newhazelton.ca
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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine