Land Sale Agreement Between Tseshaht First Nation and Western Forest Products Paves Way for Residential Development
May 2, 2024

Land Sale Agreement Between Tseshaht First Nation and Western Forest Products Paves Way for Residential Development

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c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) First Nation and Western Forest Products Inc. (Western) announced today the completion of the sale of a parcel of Western’s private land located in Port Alberni to Tseshaht for residential development.

The purchase of the 7.9 acre property supports Tseshaht’s vision to build housing within the City of Port Alberni for its members and the broader community. The parcel of land was formerly used as a parking lot by Western’s Alberni Pacific Division (APD) facility. Western continues to explore options for the property comprising its APD facility following the indefinite curtailment of such facility in April 2024.

The land purchase by Tseshaht is the first following a July 2023 agreement between the Tseshaht and the Province of BC (Province) which provided $5 million in land purchase funds from the Province.

“Governments, First Nations and the private sector working together to take action on reconciliation, returning land back to First Nations and addressing the housing crisis is the exact collaboration we all need. A huge Kleco, Kleco to the Province of BC and Western Forest Products for stepping up to the plate and working alongside our Nation as we move towards developing housing in our territories, now off-reserve, not only for our members but to support housing for all. Today we celebrate as we move on to next steps with the property, the creation of our Tseshaht Housing Society, and acquire other lands, together moving forward as one,” said Wahmeesh (Ken Watts), Elected Chief Councilor, Tseshaht First Nation.

“We are pleased to have identified an opportunity that fulfills an important objective for the Tseshaht First Nation to address housing supply and supports the community’s growth and development,” said Steven Hofer, President and CEO of Western Forest Products. “We look forward to seeing this property transition into a thriving, vibrant residential development in support of reconciliation, while providing lasting positive impacts in Port Alberni more broadly.”

“Through this agreement with Western Forest Products, Tseshaht First Nation is providing vital housing supply to the residents of Port Alberni,” said Murray Rankin, the provincial Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Partnerships like this one, built through mutual respect and a commitment to reconciliation, help communities across B.C. to thrive. I extend my congratulations to Chief Watts and all those involved in this exciting step forward.”

“Governments at all levels are struggling to find solutions to our housing crisis which is why agreements such as this one between Tseshaht First Nation, the Province and Western Forest Products is so transformative,” said City of Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. “It recognizes the evolution in our relationship with First Nations as rights-holders and partners while also providing much needed land to build housing for Tseshaht members and the broader community, breathing life into a vacant, waterfront parcel of land that has sat idle for more than two years.”


About Tseshaht First Nation

c̓išaaʔatḥ [Tseshaht] First Nation has over 1300 registered members whose ḥaḥuułi includes from the Somass watershed including the entire Alberni Valley, the western portions of both Horne Lake and Cameron Lake, the Alberni Inlet, and surrounding lands and watersheds to the Broken Group Islands of central Barkley Sound, and out to the Pacific Ocean. Tseshaht possesses Aboriginal Rights within the ḥaḥuułi (ha-houl-thee) [traditional territory] owned by our tayii ḥawił (ty-ee ha-wil-th), including Aboriginal Title. For more information, please visit


About Western Forest Products Inc.

Western is an integrated forest products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity of 885 million board feet from six sawmill, as well as operates four remanufacturing facilities and two glulam manufacturing facilities. The Company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licenses, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program providing customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.

For further information, please contact:
Babita Khunkhun
Western Forest Products

Melissa Bigmore
Communications Liaison, Tseshaht First Nation


L-R: Steven Hofer, President & CEO, Western Forest Products; Wahmeesh (Ken Watts), Elected Chief Councilor, Tseshaht First Nation; Seanna McConnell, Vice President of Indigenous Partnerships, Western Forest Products; Sharie Minions, Mayor, City of Port Alberni; Scott Smith, Director of Development Services/Deputy CAO, City of Port Alberni; Dwayne Hearn, Forestry Operations Manager, Tseshaht First Nation; Darrell Ross Sr., Manager of Natural Resources, Tseshaht First Nation; Naomi Woods, Assistant Negotiator, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

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