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102 acres of land transferred to Vancouver Island First Nation in 'historic' signing ceremony

(Snuneymuxw First Nation/Seacliff Properties) (Snuneymuxw First Nation/Seacliff Properties)

The Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN) is celebrating what it calls a "historic" land transfer from private developer Seacliff Properties, which includes the nation's ancient village site, kwula’xw, on Vancouver Island.

A signing ceremony for the 102-acre land transfer occurred on Thursday in the Nanaimo area.

The land transfer is part of Seacliff and the SFN's "Sandstone" project, which was recently adopted in the City of Nanaimo's official community plan.

The 720-acre project will include housing, retail space, community amenities and infrastructure improvements in southern Nanaimo, according to a joint statement from the SFN and Seacliff Properties on Thursday.

The land transfer is also part of the city's "Reimagine" policy, which puts a focus on First Nation reconciliation and creating a more livable Nanaimo south end.

"Today, we celebrate the rebuilding of our land base to our territory, strengthening our people's spiritual, cultural, social, and economic connection to the Snuneymuxw village sites that are being returned to us," said Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse.

"Rebuilding the SFN land base preserved and protected under the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 honours the solemn confirmations and promises that were made over 165 years ago on these great lands," he said.

"The partnership we have formed with Seacliff Properties is another step forward on the road to reconciliation with the private sector and will help our Nation fulfill our economic potential."

Wyse says the nation will also continue to pursue treaty implementation with the Cinnabar Valley Neighborhood Association and other groups "to bring overdue attention, resources, economic opportunities and amenities to Nanaimo and the entire Mid-Island region."

Seacliff Properties director of development, Georgia Desjardins, says the company has been working with the SFN for the past four years to make the transfer happen.

"And this is only the first step in honouring our agreement, which will see an additional 25 acres transferred to the Snuneymuxw First Nation upon the successful rezoning of the property, along with an option to purchase an additional 150 acres," she said. Top Stories


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