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: Comprehensive Community 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 Comprehensive Community 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: Comprehensive Community 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 Comprehensive Community 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.


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  • What will become of the cemetery? My grandfather is buried there.

    Kim Fenton asked 4 months ago

    Hi Kim,

    Thanks for your question. This is something that will be top of mind for a number of people. 

    At this time, as per our Place of Interment License, we will not have any new interments. The future of the cemetery will also be subject to BC's Cemetery and Funeral Services Act. 

    The cemetery has been identified as a place of Memory, which is one of the themes we'll be exploring in more detail during the Comprehensive Community Planning process. It's very important to us that this area of the site is approached with the utmost respect for those who are laid to rest there, and the loved ones that visit.

    While we don't have any open forms of engagement that cover the future of the cemetery just yet, we always welcome these lines of enquiry via email at renewingriverview@bchousing.org. Any future decisions on the cemetery would be made by kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation and BC Housing. 

  • Where are the terms of reference for the PAG? The PAG application say to look on www.sumiqwuelu.com but I don't see them there?

    Mike asked 4 months ago

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your patience as we worked through some technical issues to be able to answer your question. There are still a few days to submit an application if you are still interested. 


    The terms of reference are here at the following link: https://www.sumiqwuelu.com/news/join-the-public-advisory-group-for-planning

    We're welcoming applications until May 10th. 

  • What best practices can be transferred/shared between BC Housing and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture's Historic Cities Program building Al Azhar Park in Egypt, or the community consultation and rehabilitation processes integral to their award winning work? (see: https://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-trust-culture/aga-khan-historic-cities-programme/historic-cities-overview) Is there an interest or possibility to submit the project for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (or other such competitions for community development projects)? After attending the first community forum and learning about the approach and objectives grounded in reconciliation, environmental and social justice and renewal, I couldn't help but think BC Housing & the AKTC's Historic Cities program could, together learn much, avoid reinventing the wheel and implement best practices for human and nature centered design. I also invite you to examine the work of Our Ecovillage on Vancouver Island. Brandy is a wealth of knowledge about permaculture design principles: https://ourecovillage.org/ With my sincere best wishes, NoorKhan S. Bawa, PMP (He/his) I respectfully acknowledge that I am an uninvited guest living and learning on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), qiqéyt (QayQayt), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), ʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Stz’uminus Nations. V3J 7W9

    Khan, PMP asked 4 months ago

    Hi Khan, 

    Thanks so much for your question. It is a complex one and a good one! We'll make sure to take a look at the two examples you've provided as we look at topics like reconciliation, buildings, communities, ecology and memory.

    We welcome more examples from the public of innovative ways these topics have been approached both locally and elsewhere in the world.

    Thanks again for your interest and for taking the time to join us for CIS#1.