Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation and B.C. are celebrating a key reconciliation milestone that creates community and economic development opportunities by returning culturally significant land back to Ts’uubaa-asatx in the Cowichan Valley.
Chief Melanie Livingstone and Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, were joined by community members on the shores of Cowichan Lake to sign an Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA) that will facilitate the transfer of a 31-hectare Crown land parcel known as District Lot 27 back to the Nation, marking an incremental step that advances treaty related benefits prior to a final agreement.
“Ts’uubaa-asatx is excited to have reached agreement on the land transfer of District Lot 27 as part of the Incremental Treaty Agreement process,” said Chief Melanie Livingstone, Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation. “These lands will become critical to Ts’uubaa-asatx’s further economic, recreational and socio-economic priorities, which are regularly updated in our comprehensive community development plan. Ts’uubaa-asatx is looking forward to master planning these lands to see how they fit within the regional context of development.”
The land, located near Ts’uubaa-asatx’s community reserve and to Cowichan Lake, is valued at approximately $1.6 million and presents significant community and economic development potential for the Nation and its members.
“The partnership approach that has been taken to identify and reach agreement on this important parcel of land for transfer to Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation is a substantive step on the path toward long-lasting reconciliation between our governments,” Rankin said. “I look forward to building on this agreement as we continue to work collaboratively with Ts’uubaa-asatx in the years to come.”
In addition, the agreement and land transfer provide real foundations for the Nation to further participate in the regional economy and to advance the Nation’s social, cultural and economic development objectives.
Tim McGonigle, mayor, Lake Cowichan –
"On behalf of council and the residents for the Town of Lake Cowichan, we offer our support and congratulations on the signing of this agreement. We look forward to continuing our collaborative discussions and working with you on your strategic visions on this addition to your land base. ‘Kleko, Kleko.’”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“The transfer of this land to the Nation is much needed and can be used to help Ts’uubaa-asatx members advance economic and community development aspirations. I look forward to seeing how the leadership of Ts’uubaa-asatx develop these lands to the benefit of the Nation and the wider community.”
Aaron Stone, chair of the board, Cowichan Valley Regional District –
"We are thankful to see the progress being made between Ts'uubaa-asatx First Nation and government on the path to treaty. The community and economic opportunities created by this land transfer is another step in the long journey of reconciliation for Ts'uubaa-asatx people.”
- Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation (formerly Lake Cowichan First Nation) is part of the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group (HTG), which has been negotiating a treaty with B.C. and Canada since 1996 and are in Stage 5 (final) negotiations.
- An ITA is a legally binding pre-treaty agreement negotiated, under a B.C. generated process, by the Province and First Nation or First Nations at a treaty negotiation table.
Learn more about the Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation: www.lakecowichanfn.ca
And here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/lake-cowichan-first-nation