British Columbia is taking action to advance treaty negotiations with Malahat Nation through the purchase of private land.
The Province has purchased approximately 230 hectares for $9 million on southern Vancouver Island, which is intended to become part of Malahat Nation’s treaty lands when a treaty is concluded and comes into effect.
The land is within the Malahat Lands, formerly known as Bamberton, located about 40 kilometres north of Victoria. Malahat Nation has renamed the site Malahat Lands to reflect the First Nation’s ownership and a new beginning for the property.
“Our government is committed to making meaningful progress on treaties and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This land purchase is a tangible demonstration of how the Province is doing things differently and taking an approach with Indigenous communities, based on partnership, respect and recognition of rights,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “We’ll see the benefits of this investment in Malahat Nation as we complete and implement a treaty, and as the nation develops its lands in ways that create jobs and support the economic, social and cultural needs of its people. When a First Nation prospers, its neighbours prosper.”
“Malahat Nation is working hard to build a strong, lasting government that will provide a sustainable economy, bettering families and focusing on our children to come. The treaty land acquisition will triple our land base and better enable us to provide this,” said Malahat Nation Councillor Matt Harry.
“The B.C. treaty staff involved were extremely energetic, dedicated and innovative in the way they worked with Malahat Nation and the Malahat Investment Corporation (MICO). MICO is extremely appreciative of B.C.'s leadership and commitment to Malahat Nation, and we look forward to continuing that partnership going forward,” said Alan Lolacher, director of MICO.
“The lands return to our nation is symbiotic with the positive development that will happen in our future," said Malahat Nation Councillor George Harry.
B.C. and Canada are in treaty Final Agreement negotiations with Malahat Nation in a region of B.C. with a scarcity of Crown land available for treaties. The provincial land purchase is one of the many ways the Province is advancing treaty negotiations and achieving comprehensive reconciliation with Indigenous communities.
Treaties are a powerful path to comprehensive reconciliation for those First Nations communities choosing to enter negotiations. Treaty First Nations have increased opportunities for participating in the economy, lawmaking authority and clear jurisdiction over lands, resources and the health and social well-being of their citizens.
- Malahat Nation is located on the western shore of Saanich Inlet, south of Mill Bay, and has approximately 340 members.
- Malahat Nation, B.C. and Canada are currently in treaty Final Agreement negotiations.
- Malahat Nation and B.C. have signed an Incremental Treaty Agreement, which provided for 184 hectares of land in two parcels. Malahat Nation and B.C. have also signed a number of agreements related to forestry.
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: gov.bc.ca/irr
Malahat Nation: www.malahatnation.ca