Ucluelet First Nation has become the second First Nation in Canada to implement a "living wage" policy, a wage intended to cover the basic cost of living.
As of June 1, employees of the First Nation government will now be paid a minimum of $20.11 per hour, a wage based on the rising cost of living in nearby Ucluelet.
Ucluelet joins Huu-ay-aht Nation in taking such a step. Both are Nuu-chah-nulth nations located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Both are also signatories to the Maa-nulth Treaty, the first multi-nation treaty negotiated under the B.C. treaty process.
“This living wage policy is huge for our people,” said Ucluelet Nation President Les Doiron. “The treaty affords us the ability to make decisions – such as the living wage policy – that makes a positive difference in our community.”
Deanna Ogle, a campaign organizer with the Living Wage for Families Campaign, applauded the decision.
“By paying a living wage, the Ucluelet Government is demonstrating a strong commitment to the economic health of the community,” said Ogle in a statement.
“A living wage policy is a powerful expression of the community value of caring for one another.”