Let's Talk səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Riverview

Ariel photo of the Riverview lands and buildings


The Site

səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Rivervew is a 244-acre site within the core and traditional territory of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation). It sits next to Lougheed Highway in southeast Coquitlam. This site is going through a multi-phase redevelopment journey. In partnership, BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm have launched Phase Two: Master Planning.

The Name

As a step toward reconciliation, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and the Province (through BC Housing) have renamed the site from Riverview to səmiq̓ʷəʔelə (pronounced suh-MEE-kwah EL-uh). This is a hənq̓əmin̓əm̓ term, meaning "Place of the Great Blue Heron."

The Project

In Phase One, the Province (through BC Housing) heard from thousands of people who care deeply about the future of the site. This public feedback was summarized in a document called A Vision for Renewing Riverview, which was released in 2015. The project's vision was aspirational in nature; BC Housing is now ready to plan for the site in a detailed and actionable way. For a list of the kind of decisions made during Master Planning, click here.

Since 2015, the current government has reviewed public feedback from the Visioning phase and made the following changes to the project's mandate:

The site will remain in public hands, excepting land transfers to kʷikʷəƛ̓əm.

While the redevelopment must be financially responsible, BC Housing will no longer be working within a break-even cost mandate.

Thank-you for taking the time to add your voice to this project. BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm look forward to hearing from you. For more information about the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə site, please visit www.sumiqwuelu.com.



The Site

səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Rivervew is a 244-acre site within the core and traditional territory of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation). It sits next to Lougheed Highway in southeast Coquitlam. This site is going through a multi-phase redevelopment journey. In partnership, BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm have launched Phase Two: Master Planning.

The Name

As a step toward reconciliation, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and the Province (through BC Housing) have renamed the site from Riverview to səmiq̓ʷəʔelə (pronounced suh-MEE-kwah EL-uh). This is a hənq̓əmin̓əm̓ term, meaning "Place of the Great Blue Heron."

The Project

In Phase One, the Province (through BC Housing) heard from thousands of people who care deeply about the future of the site. This public feedback was summarized in a document called A Vision for Renewing Riverview, which was released in 2015. The project's vision was aspirational in nature; BC Housing is now ready to plan for the site in a detailed and actionable way. For a list of the kind of decisions made during Master Planning, click here.

Since 2015, the current government has reviewed public feedback from the Visioning phase and made the following changes to the project's mandate:

The site will remain in public hands, excepting land transfers to kʷikʷəƛ̓əm.

While the redevelopment must be financially responsible, BC Housing will no longer be working within a break-even cost mandate.

Thank-you for taking the time to add your voice to this project. BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm look forward to hearing from you. For more information about the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə site, please visit www.sumiqwuelu.com.


  • Notice of work in unused portion of cemetery

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    Please note that BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation will be doing some light digging within the unused area of the cemetery in November, with further works to be completed in December. A separate area of the cemetery is the final resting place for a number of Riverview Hospital and Woodlands School residents. This area will not be disturbed.

    The work is to prepare the ground for other soil to be moved to this location. The soil to be repatriated was excavated from the new Red Fish Healing Centre area. BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation wish to have all excavated soil located within səmiq̓ʷəʔelə to remain on site. All soil disturbance activities are regulated under the BC Housing/kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation Archaeological Protocol. They are subject to the BC Heritage Conservation Act. Any unauthorized soil or ground disturbances at səmiq̓ʷəʔelə are unlawful and may result in penalties.

    Review the Archaeological Protocol.

    For more information, please email us at renewingriverview@bchousing.org.

    If you have a loved one in the Riverview Cemetery and would like further assurances, please reach out to us at renewingriverview@bchousing.org, or phone BC Housing at 236-988-8079 and ask to be put through to səmiq̓ʷəʔelə’s Communications Specialist, Tanya Melanson.

  • Photo contest on planning themes

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    səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview’s planning team at BC Housing and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation is hosting a photography contest until November 4, 2021. The contest asks participants to explore one or more of the following prompts:

    1. This is what home looks like to me.
    2. This is what heritage/culture looks like to me.
    3. This is what wellness (mental/physical) looks like to me.
    4. This is what truth and reconciliation looks like to me.

    After November 4, the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə project team will analyze the photographs for common elements in order to better understand the public’s priorities on the topics of housing, heritage/culture, wellness, and truth and reconciliation. These topics are several of the planning themes for səmiq̓ʷəʔelə. Photos submitted by kʷikʷəƛ̓əm members will be analyzed by the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə project lead at kʷikʷəƛ̓əm.

    Participants are welcome to visit səmiq̓ʷəʔelə to take pictures as long as they follow the site’s protocols. However, folks can participate from anywhere. Winners will be selected by random draw.

    Prizes:

    1. $150 pre-paid Visa gift card (1 available)
    2. $50 gift card to a participating TriCities business (2 available)
    3. A framed 8/10” photograph – your submission to the contest (3 available)

    The link to enter the contest and upload photos is:

    We look forward to your participation!

  • The Future of səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Riverview – Join us on March 30, 2021

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    The Province and BC Housing are excited to join Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation) to honour the Nation’s historical and cultural ties to the lands by renaming the site səmiq̓ʷəʔelə.

    səmiq̓ʷəʔelə (pronounced Suh-mEE-kwuh EL-uh) means “Place of the Great Blue Heron” in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the traditional language of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people, and signifies the land’s historical use as heron roosting grounds.

    Chief Ed Hall of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation explains: “the renaming of Riverview to səmiq̓ʷəʔelə is very significant to our Nation’s overall goal of reclaiming and revitalizing our culture and traditional language. The name was given by the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm membership, based on memories and accounts of the Riverview slopes before settler arrival. The kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people and Nation look forward to reconnecting with these lands – lands which are on our core, ancestral and unceded territory – by being a meaningful partner with BC Housing in the master planning process and by sharing with the rest of the public our rich history and culture.”

    The renaming is reflective of the Province and BC Housing’s partnership with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm in determining the future of the Lands together and as a step towards reconciliation.

    More information:

    Upcoming Master Planning Process

    In 2015, BC Housing released “A Vision for Renewing Riverview” that outlined aspirational goals for the future of səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Riverview. We are grateful to everyone who contributed thoughts and ideas during that phase of the process.

    Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and BC Housing are now ready to launch the next phase of the process, master planning. During this phase, a tangible plan, known as a Master Plan, will be created for the redevelopment of səmiq̓ʷəʔelə / Riverview.

    Master planning is expected to be a multi-year process and will include engagement with the public and key stakeholders. The kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Nation will also conduct an extensive community engagement with their membership during this time. The feedback from both rounds of engagement will be incorporated into səmiq̓ʷəʔelə’s master plan. No development plans are currently in place for the site.

    Please join us for a virtual Community Information Session (CIS) to kick off the master planning process.

    When: March 30, 2021 from 6:00-7:30 pm

    Where: Online via ZOOM. Please register for the event at sumiqwuelu.eventbrite.ca

    The event will:

    • Summarize what we heard during the Visioning process.
    • Provide project updates and an overview of the Master Planning process.
    • Outline how members of the public can provide input into the site’s Master Planning.

    We look forward to starting this important work with you all.

  • Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addictions

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    Alongside our partners – the Kwikwetlem First Nation, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) – we’re pleased to share the name of a new building under construction on the Riverview Lands. θəqiʔ ɫəwʔənəq leləm’ (or Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction) is scheduled to open late in 2021 as a treatment option for people who have complex mental health and/or substance use needs.

Page last updated: 22 Sep 2022, 10:47 AM