Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Media Relations
250 896-4348

Stephanie Slater

Lyackson First Nation
236 255-3339

Tara Zwaan

Cowichan Tribes
250 732-7502


What people are saying about the Incremental Treaty Agreement

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“This agreement and the land transfer are cause for great celebration. This will improve the lives of people in both communities for generations to come. By working collaboratively, I’m thrilled that the Province and these First Nations have come together, identified a place for the Lyackson people to finally call home and a place for Cowichan Tribes to advance their housing priorities.”

Sonia Furstenau, Cowichan Valley MLA

“I am pleased to see this outcome, which stems from the collaboration between the Lyackson First Nation, Cowichan Tribes and the provincial government. The return of this land is a concrete step of reconciliation, and I congratulate Chief Pahalicktun, Chief Daniels, and the members of Lyackson First Nation and Cowichan Tribes. I also applaud the provincial government for its role in purchasing the land so that it can be returned to be held in partnership by the two Nations.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

“I am honoured and delighted to witness this significant achievement by Lyackson First Nation, Cowichan Tribes and the Province of B.C. The Nations’ pragmatic approach to ‘land back’ was achieved through the perseverance and hard work of their leaders and members seeking to implement their inherent title and rights, and will result in a critical addition to their territories in a timely manner.”

Robert Phillips, political executive, First Nations Summit

“We applaud the Lyackson First Nation, Cowichan Tribes and the Government of British Columbia for concluding an agreement that will return culturally significant lands to and provide a much-needed community land base for the Lyackson and Cowichan peoples. It was always contemplated that the B.C. treaty negotiations framework would provide for interim measures to protect First Nations’ interests and provide First Nations with early benefits in advance of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. Early land transfers through Incremental Treaty Agreements are a critical aspect of advancing incremental reconciliation and demonstrate the array of flexible arrangements that canbe negotiated under the B.C. treaty negotiations framework.”

Terry Teegee, Regional Chief, BC Assembly of First Nations

“This momentous occasion paves the way for community growth and economic diversification that will benefit the Lyackson and Cowichan peoples. Through the signing of the Incremental Treaty Agreement, a historic opportunity has emerged to address First Nations’ needs and aspirations. This land return and the associated memorandum of understanding not only address immediate residential and community infrastructure requirements, but also open doors for First Nations to actively engage in the regional economy, marking a crucial step toward self-determination and sustainable development.”

Rob Gough, president and CEO, Mosaic Forest Management

“Our land-sale agreement to support Lyackson First Nation and Cowichan Tribes is part of Mosaic’s continued commitment to reconciliation and providing opportunities for community development, prosperity and wellness. This is an excellent example of industry working with governments and Nations to facilitate the necessary connection to land needed for culture to thrive.”

Aaron Stone, chair, board of directors, Cowichan Valley Regional District

“This is extremely heartening news for the region and demonstrates continued progress toward reconciliation and treaty agreements with members of the Quw’utsun Nation. The creation of new reserve lands to re-establish village and community for local Nations is a significant milestone, and we look forward to supporting and celebrating this advancement as we work together to ensure truth and reconciliation is a cornerstone of future development across the region.”