Proposed division of the 60 acres of undeveloped Crown lands. Image from Mission council minutes.

Historic land-transfer agreement in works between District of Mission, First Nations, province

60 acres of undeveloped Crown along Fraser River could change hands

An historic land transfer agreement is currently being negotiated that, when signed, will see approximately 60 hectares of undeveloped Crown land change hands.

The District of Mission, the Provincial Government and the LMS Society (which includes the Leq’á:mel, Mathexwi and Semá:th First Nations) have been negotiating the deal for several years.

Chandra Crowe, from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, spoke with council last week.

“I believe this might be the first reconciliation agreement of this kind between the province a local government and First Nations,” said Crowe who called it groundbreaking and a model for locally-driven reconciliation.

She said the purpose of the land transfer is “to further reconciliation, to create new parkland and enhance recreational opportunities for the broader community and also to support residential and economic growth.”

The lands are adjacent to the Fraser River Heritage Park and the Pekw’xe:yles Indian Reserve, the former site of St. Mary’s Residential School.

Crowe said the area contains sites of cultural significance including three registered pre-contact archaeological sites.

The lands will not be added to Reserve lands and will remain subject to provincial and local government laws, including applicable zoning, land use, land development and property tax laws.

Under the proposed agreement, approximately 50 hectares of the land adjacent to the Fraser River Heritage Park will be leased to the District to manage the area for public use as a community park and recreational area.

LMS and the District will form a joint park management committee and co-develop a management plan which will seek to enhance recreational and cultural values in the park.

The existing trails on the land have never been assessed for hazards and were not constructed according to any municipal standard. The trails will need to be assessed and staff recommended that the trails be assessed in partnership with the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association.

The remaining two smaller parcels, totaling 10 hectares will be subject to a land development process for proposed residential and economic development by LMS.

While there is no timeline for completing the deal, Crowe said they are hoping to have a signing in late summer or fall.

“This is 10 years in the making,” said Mission Mayor Pam Alexis. “This is the first tri-partied agreement in the province… we are leading the way.”

RELATED: New signage proposed to reflect what First Nations children experienced

IndigenousMission

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Missing Maple Ridge man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

Mission virtual Canada Day celebration available online

Mayor pleasedwith how video turned out

Abbotsford Flea Market reopening on Sunday

Market has been closed since March 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Peak on the lower Fraser River expected to arrive Monday

Peak predicted for July 6, with flows decreasing from there: River Forecast Centre

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read