Agreement transfers land to First Nation

NANAIMO – Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation will receive 6.4 hectares of crown land in fee simple through an incremental treaty agreement.

The Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation signed an incremental treaty agreement with the provincial government Tuesday that will see two parcels of land totalling 6.4 hectares transferred in fee simple over the next three years.

The agreement was one of five signed by First Nations constituting the Te’mexw Treaty Association, who have worked through the B.C. treaty process since 1995.

The other Te’mexw nations to sign an agreement at Tuesday’s ceremony are T’Sou-ke (Sooke), Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Malahat First Nation and Songhees Nation (Esquimalt).

“It’s good news, the people are happy because we finally get to see something after [nearly] 25 years of waiting,” said Snaw-naw-as Chief David Bob. “It means that we’re hopefully getting closer to a treaty.

“Both governments need to take this serious and start bringing things to the table that mean something to the First Nations.”

The land parcels are Crown land and located within Snaw-naw-as traditional territory, off of Fairdowne Road in the Regional District of Nanaimo. Under fee simple, the same laws, bylaws and regulations apply to the land as they would on any other privately owned land.

“What it means is we can finally start working with companies to get some type of economic development happening without having to worry about the Indian Act,” Bob said.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to go out and log it all tomorrow, we’re going to sit back, study it, see what’s the best use for that area.

“We’re going to … involve our community and the outlying communities where the property is.”

The purpose of an incremental treaty agreement is to bring benefits more quickly to First Nations communities which are undergoing the treaty process by advancing portions of a future complete settlement package.

According to information from the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, the lands could potentially become treaty settlement lands if a treaty is finalized.

If a treaty isn’t reached, the land is still retained by the First Nation as fee simple.

Snaw-naw-as is currently in stage four of six of agreement-in-principle negotiations in the B.C. treaty process.

Bob said while the agreement is cause for celebration, First Nations members are also taking time to remember those involved in the treaty process who are no longer alive to see the progress being made.

“We’ve lost about five or six elders,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Designs come in for proposed student housing across from NDSS

City of Nanaimo reviewing development permit application for 160-unit Wakesiah complex

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

Protesters in Nanaimo call for greater protection of old-growth forests

Extinction Rebellion organized rally at Maffeo Sutton Park on Saturday afternoon

Nanaimo River Road ‘hotspot’ for theft from vehicles, says RCMP

Over dozen reports of theft in past month, say Nanaimo RCMP, many victims were headed to backcountry

Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo

560 Milton St. was declared a nuisance property last month

Nanaimo cat with a disability can still teach foster kittens ‘how to cat’

Life goes from sour to sweet for Lemon, an adopted cat from B.C. SPCA Nanaimo

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Vancouver Island films sought for One Minute Mobile Movie Challenge

All entries to be screened online in virtual film festival

Drive-in movie screenings next week will benefit Nanaimo food bank

Fortis B.C. and Fresh Air Cinema holding fundraisers at Woodgrove Centre

City to begin Metral Drive ‘complete street’ roadwork in August

Phase 1 includes seven raised intersections, sidewalks, cycle track

Nanaimo RCMP’s space needs prompt city to assess its properties in that area

Council approves $120,000 to develop real estate strategy for ‘civic precinct’ in the Old City Quarter

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Most Read