The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for the Province of British Columbia, and the leaders of the five Saanich Nations today announced the successful conclusion of the Goldstream Specific Claim.
With the conclusion of the Goldstream Specific Claim, the Government of Canada will provide the Saanich Nations with $877,375 in financial compensation. The settlement also includes the transfer of approximately a four-hectare (10-acre) parcel of provincial Crown land to Canada to be added to reserve for the joint use and benefit of the five WSANEC (Saanich) Nations under Canada's Additions to Reserve policy: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1332267668918/1332267748447
The conclusion of the specific claim including the return of the land parcel and the financial compensation was celebrated today at the Tsawout Gathering Strength Gymnasium by Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong, the chiefs of the five WSANEC (Saanich) Nations (Malahat First Nation, Tseycum First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Pauquachin First Nation and Tsartlip First Nation) and federal officials.
The specific claim submitted by the Saanich First Nations alleged that Goldstream No. 13 reserve (located 18 kilometres from Victoria) was improperly reduced in 1962 by approximately 10 acres from its original size.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt -
"This historic settlement shows that claim negotiations can deliver results with willing partners. Claim settlements like this one help position First Nations to become more active participants in the Canadian economy and also create a stronger climate for investment and job creation."
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong -
"As a long-time resident of this region and as a local MLA, I take great pride in the return of this land to the Saanich First Nations. This agreement is a positive achievement for Saanich First Nations, Canada and the Province, based on a foundation of respect and trust."
Pauquachin Nation Chief Bruce Underwood, on behalf of the WSANEC Nations -
"The Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada and the WSANEC leaders are pleased to gather to commemorate the final settlement of a specific claim dating back to 1962. This historic settlement and return of the land has been a critical part of our discussions for the betterment for future generations.
"Our leaders are pleased the wrongdoings of this mis-survey to our nations' land is now being corrected. It is important we honour our relatives that have walked the land before us and those that walk the land after we are gone."
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation