Musqueam Indian Band Statement on the GVRD Board's decision to oppose the transfer of two land parcels in Pacific Spirit Park to Musqueam



    VANCOUVER, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - The Musqueam Indian Band notes with regret the
recent decision of the Board of the GVRD to oppose the transfer to the Band of
two parcels of land in what is known as Pacific Spirit Park as part of a
reconciliation agreement with the Province of BC.
    The two parcels are known as the Triangle Lands and Block F.
    The Triangle Lands are located on the southern fringe of the Park
immediately adjacent to the Musqueam Reserve between the reserve boundary and
South West Marine Drive.
    Block F is located on the western fringe of the Park, west of the UBC
Golf Course and east of the University Boulevard entrance to the University.

    A fair consideration of the transfer and the reconciliation agreement
should take into account the following:

    
    (a) The Musqueam were dispossessed of their traditional lands (including
        the two parcels located in the heart of the Musqueam traditional
        territory next to their main Village which has existed for thousands
        of years) without their consent or any compensation;
    (b) The Musqueam were confined to a small reserve (one of the smallest on
        a per capita basis in Canada) in breach of an agreement reached
        between the federal government and the provincial government which
        stated that reserves would be allocated on the basis of 20 acres per
        family. Musqueam received less than six acres per family at a time
        when settlers were permitted to pre-empt 160 acres per family;
    (c) As ruled by the Supreme Court of Canada, the federal government
        breached its fiduciary duty when in 1958 it leased one third of the
        Musqueam reserve - the highest, best lands to the Shaughnessy Golf
        Club until 2033, for a fraction of its value;
    (d) In the early 1960s, the federal government granted an easement over
        the reserve to the GVRD without a fixed termination date and at a
        nominal payment for the purpose of taking waste to the Iona sewage
        treatment plant which has had a serious impact on the orderly
        development of the reserve;
    (e) In 1989, the provincial government transferred land to the GVRD as
        parkland without any consultations with the Musqueam Indian Band
        despite the Band's strong opposition and without compensation to the
        Band;
    (f) The Musqueam obtained a court order from the BC Court of Appeal to
        prevent the transfer and the order was only lifted when the GVRD
        agreed that any transfer would be without prejudice to the Band's
        Aboriginal claims;
    (g) The Band and the Province recently rejected a proposal from the
        supporters of the UBC Golf Course that 120 acres of the Park
        (six per cent of the total) be transferred to the Band in place of
        the Golf Course - an option that, according to the Golf Course
        supporters survey, was approved by 72 per cent of respondents;
    (h) The Triangle Lands are a natural extension of the reserve and are cut
        off from the rest of the Park by a four lane highway and there are no
        public trails - it is not used by the public;
    (i) Block F is located next to an existing multi-family development and
        the University Hill Secondary School, across from extensive multi-
        family development carried out by the University and adjacent to
        extensive existing multi-family development on neighbouring UEL
        lands;
    (j) As part of the agreement, the Band has agreed to provide equivalent
        park space to Block F to be located on the UBC Golf Course and
        adjacent to Pacific Spirit Park.
    

    The Band hopes that Board members will heed the consistent advice of the
courts for the parties to reach such reconciliation agreements as an
alternative to costly, adversarial litigation and, in the future, support such
agreements which seek to balance all relevant interests.





For further information:

For further information: Chief Ernest Campbell, Phone: (604) 833-5799

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Musqueam Indian Band

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