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Legislature land dispute settled


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:43 AM

Legislature land dispute settled at last
Agreement ‘150 years in the making’ comes with a $31.5-million price tag

BY ROB SHAW Times Colonist staff


The federal and B.C. governments have agreed to pay two Greater Victoria First Nations $31.5 million to drop their claim of ownership for the land on which the province’s legislature sits.
Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, along with the two governments, initialled the agreement yesterday during a ceremony in the stately reception hall of the 108-year-old legislature.
Once ratified, it would end a dispute that started before B.C. joined Confederation in 1871.
The bands claim colonial governor Sir James Douglas set aside roughly four hectares of land for a reserve at the site in 1854. But Douglas later took back the land to build the legislature.
It sits in what has grown to be the middle of downtown Victoria’s busy Inner Harbour and some of the province’s most valuable real estate.
The Songhees and Esquimalt insist their ancestors never surrendered the land. The bands sued the two levels of government in 2001, demanding compensation for breaches to their Douglas Treaty rights.
This out-of-court agreement settles any “unfinished business,” said Esquimalt Chief Andy Thomas.
“There was a spirit of intent in that treaty that’s being addressed today.
“That’s what today is all about, is finding our rightful place in this land. To be able to take part in the economy, to be able to take part in the work forces of this land that we belong to. And it’s about our children, our grandchildren, and our children not born yet.”
The two groups will split the $31.5 million. In exchange, they will drop their lawsuit and formally surrender their claims. Neither side is forced to admit any liability.
The federal government will pay three-quarters of the settlement because Ottawa has more historic and constitutional responsibility for such a dispute, said Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Jim Prentice.
Prentice travelled to Victoria to initial the document.
A portion of the settlement, $8.5 million, can be used by the First Nations to purchase four hectares of land elsewhere. A replacement lands committee will help find government surplus land, which could then be designated as a native reserve.
Both Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations must hold a referendum on the deal and get at least 50 per cent approval for ratification.
Songhees and Esquimalt are relatively small bands. Songhees has 466 registered members. Esquimalt has 243. Their chiefs did not say how the money would be shared with their communities.
“This agreement has been 150 years in the making,” said Songhees Chief Robert Sam. “Hopefully it will give us a new start. Maybe not so much for ourselves but for our young people.”
Michael de Jong, B.C.’s minister of aboriginal relations and reconciliation, called the agreement a “remarkable” and “historic” moment in the province’s history.
Before the agreement was initialled, a large group of aboriginal people marched to the legislature’s steps and ornate front door. Some were dressed in full ceremonial outfits with painted faces and bare feet. They played drums and sang as they walked.
Prentice and de Jong stood outside to meet the native leaders. Songhees Chief Sam was prepared for de Jong’s greetings: “He said, ‘Welcome to the buildings’ and I said to him, ‘We should be welcoming you.’”
This is the second major deal struck between B.C. First Nations and governments in the last month. The Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, near Prince George, initialled a treaty worth $76 million in late October, which B.C. and Ottawa hailed as a milestone agreement and a major step forward in reconciliation efforts with First Nations people.
mailto:rfshaw@tc.canwest.com


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#2 HB

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:36 PM

Any Idea what they did with the money when they received it?



#3 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 06:15 AM

$46,500 per band member, not bad.


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#4 spanky123

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:04 AM

$46,500 per band member, not bad.

 

Unfortunately it doesn't usually work that way. If you took most bands and divvied up the amount of money they have received over the years by the number of members then they would all be living in spiffy new houses and driving BMWs.


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#5 shoeflack

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:53 AM

Unfortunately it doesn't usually work that way. If you took most bands and divvied up the amount of money they have received over the years by the number of members then they would all be living in spiffy new houses and driving BMWs.

 

Instead it's normally just the family of the chief living that way.


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#6 HB

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 08:19 AM

Thats the  way it was or still may be in Duncan. One of the largest reserves in BC (Cowichan) the casino up there generates a lot of revenue.

 

The reserve is teeming with poverty however the Chief,and his /her close friends and family as well as council members are doing all right

 

For a look at the crap living conditions and poverty and such next time in Duncan, before crossing the bridge turn right and drive down Boys rd for a look.

You're in for a treat.


Edited by HB, 16 March 2017 - 08:20 AM.


#7 VIResident

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 06:27 AM

BC Gov. should stop the legal wrangling and get on with it - settle and do it now.

 

Vaughn Palmer: The BC government should prepare the public for the coming "big shock" when "fairly large chunks" of provincial Crown land are recognized as owned and controlled by First Nations. (Read article here: https://vancouversun...that-to-public)

(see map #2 page 24 for Crown Land designation BC Gov. https://www2.gov.bc....tics_report.pdf )

Visit Jack Woodwards Facebook page, "the lawyer who won the case that resulted in the first declaration of Aboriginal title in B.C. and who is taking another title case to court next year."  https://www.facebook...lawyerandauthor

 

VICTORIA — The B.C. government should prepare the public for the coming “big shock” when “fairly large chunks” of provincial Crown land are recognized as actually owned and controlled by Indigenous Nations.

So says Jack Woodward, the lawyer who won the case that resulted in the first declaration of Aboriginal title in B.C. and who is taking another title case to court next year.



#8 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 06:34 AM

crown owns 93 or 94% of the land in bc.   we can probably afford to give lots away.

 

 

 

Crown land comprises about 94% of the total geographic area of British Columbia, and about 5% of land in British Columbia is privately owned. Federal Crown land comprises 1%.

 

https://ltsa.ca/abou...nd comprises 1%.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 April 2021 - 06:36 AM.


#9 VIResident

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 06:36 AM

crown owns 92% of the land in bc.   we can probably afford to give lots away.

 

WTF? "we can probably afford to give lots away?" Seriously? dumbest comment I've seen around these parts in a while.



#10 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 06:43 AM

WTF? "we can probably afford to give lots away?" Seriously? dumbest comment I've seen around these parts in a while.

 

well this is part of the article you quoted:

 

 

The B.C. government should prepare the public for the coming “big shock” when “fairly large chunks” of provincial Crown land are recognized as actually owned and controlled by Indigenous Nations.

 

 

explain to me in your own words, what the "big shock" would be.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 April 2021 - 06:43 AM.


#11 VIResident

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 07:09 AM

Educate yourself.   

Start here:

http://www.bctreaty....d-and-resources



#12 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 27 April 2021 - 07:14 AM

Educate yourself.   

Start here:

http://www.bctreaty....d-and-resources

 

i said explain "in your own words".

 

can you?

 

it really does not matter to me if 95% of the land in bc - other than my own - is owned by "crown", indigenous people, or betty white.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 27 April 2021 - 07:15 AM.

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