Friday April 15, 2011


Feature Story  


More Than Just Sticks and Bricks

New store has  80,000 sq. ft. with over 40,000 items from odor-eating carpet to Martha Stewart decor

Staff/Voice photos



Dan Mcareavey is V.P. Contract Services (L), Ed Henderson, Chief David Jimmie, Wayne McAlpine and Acting Mayor Sue Attrill cut a wooden ribbon last week at the Home Depot grand opening.


f you build it he will come. Last week, Squiala Nation Chief David Jimmy, Acting Mayor Sue Attrill, YMCA Chair Wayne McAlpine and store representatives joined builders, contractors and handymen for the grand opening of the 180th Home Depot Store in Canada at Eagle Landing.


The 80,000-square foot store includes a home decor section, over 40,000 products a big outdoor garden area as well as a tool rental centre, contractor centre and an installation department.


"Business is booming in Chilliwack," Attrill told reporters. "Right off the bat we have 100 new jobs here in this location, not to mention al the other economic spinoffs with contractors, more selection and the more options that they have in Chilliwack, more likely other business are going to be more likely to move here in order to start up their own business.         Squiala Chief David Jimmie (in white) sings and drums at Home Depot.

Another plus to having Home Depot in Chilliwack, is that they do a lot within the community.

"We're really looking forward to working closely with Home Depot and getting them really involved in the community," she said. "I know they're really keen and that's such a great thing to have a great corporate citizen like that moving into the area."

One reporter pointed out that Home Depot isn't just for guys and Atrill wholeheartedly agreed.

"I absolutely love home improvement. I have done tile work and everything over the years and there's no reason why you (women) can't do it because when you come here they tell you exactly what you need to do, what you need to get and they can help you all the way through."

Store manager, Ed Henderson, introduced Chief Jimmie, who welcomed those in attendance to Squiala traditional territory.

Jimmie was thankful to Home Depot staff who asked how Squiala wanted to participate in the opening ceremony.

"Instead of just giving us an agenda, and saying 'this is what we're doing', they recognized our protocols and how we welcome people into our community," he said.

The ceremony also featured the Jimmie family drummers who performed a traditional Welcome Song called The Heartbeat.

"It's called the heartbeat because it's the first thing we hear as babies when we're in our mother's womb and this song represents that," said Jimmie.

Each drummer wore a blanket over their shoulder with a $20 bill pinned to it.

"The blanket is for protection over the heart when you keep the heart warm," explained Jimmie. "The $20 bills in our culture is not a message of payment, it's a message to say thank you."

Jimmie said that Eagle Landing is great for the Squiala Nation and the city of Chilliwack.

"We just wanted to represent that in a way that shows our appreciation for everything that's here."

He thanked the Property Development Group and acknowledge both their hard work and the efforts of previous chiefs and councils to get the project done.

"Our previous land manager, Steven Jimmie, who was very instrumental in putting together our land code. The land code enabled us to govern our own lands and take that away from the federal government, so we're allowed and enabled through this legislation to pass laws within our community and our traditional land," said Jimmie.

Henderson said that the store has a group of volunteers who go out in the community

"We've got this amazing group called Team Depot and we volunteer an amazing amount of hours every single year to go out in the community and supply products and services and build things for people who need help," he said. "It's our chance to give back and it's one of those things in life that when you have the opportunity to give back, there's something really good about taking that opportunity and giving back."

Henderson presented Wayne McAlpine with a Home Depot donation of $5,000 for the YMCA who will distribute it to "financially strapped families in Chilliwack to do things that otherwise they wouldn't be able to do," said McAlpine.

"It helps them participate in YMCA programs."

Mcareavey promised that people will be greeted every time they enter the store.

"We promise that we will ask you what project are you working on today? We promise that we will never say no and that we will take care of your service needs every single day," he said.

Staff told The Voice at the store, that the latest craze in home flooring and redecorating is Martha Stewart. Color coordinating is important and staff can walk you through the various colour schemes available in paint, wood and carpets.

A huge development in flooring that makes rug deodorizers obsolete, is the Puresque line of odor-eating carpets now available at Home Depot stores. Puresque is an environmentally friendly product that absorbs common odors in your home including cooking, smoke, and pets. It is also resistant to mold and mildew.

The store also carries a line of environmentally friendly carpets made from corn. According to staff, it takes sugar from the corn and which is then made into a fibre and mixed in with recycled polyester.

Squiala First Nation

The Home Depot Cake was made by Chilliwack company Cakes on Demand


Students from the Chilliwack Education Centre

Wayne McAlpine, Chair of the Chilliwack YMCA

Seven Jimmie, Squaila Councillor and ex-Chief

Brandon Jimmy, Drummer



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