Eco Friendly Road Install

Eco-Friendly Road Install

The Chawathil First Nation, nestled in the majestic mountains of the Fraser Valley, has called this land home for thousands of years. Located 140 km east of Vancouver, BC, our traditional territory once encompassed much of what is now the community of Hope and its surrounding areas.

As Sto people, known as the “river people,” our lives have always been intertwined with the river and the land. The Sto share a common language, Halq’eméylem (Hal-ko-me-lem), a language of the Coast Salish family. This language binds us together and connects us to our ancestors and the land.

Throughout history, we have relied on the rich natural resources of our territory to sustain our people and our way of life. Fishing, hunting, and gathering were not only means of survival but also integral parts of our culture and traditions. Our communal lifestyle has thrived on the wisdom and guidance of our Knowledge Holders and elders, who have passed down the teachings of living in harmony with the land.

At Chawathil First Nation, we are proud to be at the forefront of innovative and sustainable infrastructure projects. In 2019, our community became the site of a groundbreaking eco-friendly road installation featuring a novel fibre-reinforced concrete developed by researchers at The University of British Columbia (UBC). This unique concrete has the remarkable ability to “self-heal” when cracks begin to form, demonstrating the resilience and sustainability of this advanced material.

The road in our community is made from internally cured concrete pavement that utilizes recycled materials such as scrap tire fibers and cellulose fibers. This not only improves the longevity of the concrete but also significantly reduces landfill waste by reusing these materials. As a result, our new road requires less maintenance and lasts much longer than traditional concrete pavements.

To ensure the effectiveness of this innovative pavement, 30 solar-powered sensors were embedded within the concrete. These sensors transmit data over the internet to IC-IMPACTS researchers, providing continuous health monitoring of the pavement. This real-time data collection enables researchers to make informed decisions about future designs and improvements in self-healing pavement technology.

Dr. Nemy Banthia, IC-IMPACTS CEO and Scientific Director, highlights the benefits of this advanced technology: “IC-IMPACTS’ advanced self-repairing pavement technology has been demonstrated to reduce construction costs, minimize environmental impact, and extend the longevity of deployments while diverting tires from the landfill.”

This project is a testament to the commitment of Chawathil First Nation to embrace sustainable and innovative solutions that benefit our community and the environment. By participating in this project, we are not only enhancing our infrastructure but also contributing to global efforts in sustainable development.

The success of our self-healing road installation has garnered attention worldwide, with data from our sensors presented at the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Annual Convention and other international conferences. Our community is proud to be part of this pioneering initiative, showcasing how traditional values of environmental stewardship can be harmonized with cutting-edge technology.

At Chawathil First Nation, we look forward to continuing our journey towards sustainable development and sharing our experiences with other communities around the world. This project is a shining example of how innovation and tradition can come together to create a better future for all.

For more information, please contact our administration office at or call (604) 869-9994. We welcome you to learn more about our community and our commitment to sustainability.

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