Provincial land purchases on southern Vancouver Island will protect the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail while advancing reconciliation with Pacheedaht First Nation.
On a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis, the Province is in the process of purchasing 83 hectares of private property from Marine Trail Holdings, which adds to the purchase of 99 hectares from the company in December 2015. The properties are located 75 kilometres west of Victoria, near Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.
Before the purchase in 2015, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and its service access roads crossed private property at four locations. The Province is continuing the process of adding the trail corridor and access roads to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, which will preserve the integrity of the 47-kilometre wilderness trail and ensure long-term access for the public.
The parcels outside the trail corridor will be offered to Pacheedaht First Nation as potential treaty land. Through treaty negotiations with B.C. and Canada, Pacheedaht has indicated the lands align with its economic development and treaty goals.
Advancing treaty negotiations and securing the continuity of a public hiking trail benefits all British Columbians, and reflects the strong relationship between the Province and the Pacheedaht.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“Public, private and First Nations interests have aligned through innovative negotiations to significantly advance reconciliation with Pacheedaht First Nation, while ensuring continued public access to a popular wilderness trail. This reflects our commitment to seeking agreements that support economic development with First Nations in ways that benefit the wider community.”
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a jewel that provides 47 kilometres of access to Vancouver Island’s spectacular wilderness and rugged coastlines. This investment protects the integrity of the marine trail and enhances our partnership with Pacheedaht First Nation.”
Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht First Nation –
“Pacheedaht First Nation is pleased that the Province has purchased these lands and is committed to making meaningful progress at the treaty table. These lands will play an important role in creating a sustainable economy for our people as we work towards a final treaty with British Columbia and Canada.”
- Pacheedaht First Nation is based near Port Renfrew, and has about 280 members and four reserves.
- Pacheedaht First Nation and Ditidaht First Nation are negotiating treaties with B.C. and Canada at a common table, and are in Agreement-in-Principal negotiations.
- Pacheedaht signed an incremental treaty agreement with the Province in March 2013 for 596 hectares in three parcels, southeast of Port Renfrew.
- The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy as legacy of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games.
Provincial agreements with Pacheedaht First Nation: ow.ly/RBf5d
Pacheedaht First Nation: pacheedahtfirstnation.com
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park: ow.ly/lqv230ali0f
Edward HillMinistry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation