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


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

Just Posted

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read