An exciting development is underway in BC. We Wai Kai Nation will soon operate the first Indigenous-run Starbucks in Canada, located in the Campbell River area of Vancouver Island.

Last week, First Nation members of We Wai Kai Nation gathered at the site of the new Starbucks store for a ceremonial groundbreaking to commemorate this special opportunity for their community.

The new cafe will serve as a space for the community to gather over coffee, and will also provide economic and employment opportunities to We Wai Kai Nation members.

It will also display local art and further the community’s “broader effort towards self-sustaining economic development” for its 1,200 members, says a statement from Starbucks.

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Photo via Eric Kular / Starbucks Canada

We Wai Kai Nation are members of the Kwakwakaʼwakw Indigenous peoples, who have long been known for their artistry and hospitality, which they will have the opportunity to showcase at their new Starbucks cafe.

The First Nation community is guided by values such as respect, accountability, and environmental stewardship.

We Wai Kai Nation invests in local businesses and talent in order to empower its members through entrepreneurship and meaningful employment.

“Economic development is a key pillar of our strategic plan and an important component as we move towards treaty,” said the Chief Councillor of We Wai Kai NationI, Ronnie Chickite, in the Starbucks announcement.

“It is through partnerships, like this one with Starbuck Canada, that will support our goal of self-reliance.”

The first Indigenous-run Starbucks in Canada is set to open its doors in the fall of this year.