SNUNEYMUXW FIRST NATION AND SEACLIFF PROPERTIES ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT FOR SANDSTONE LANDS
SNUNEYMUXW TERRITORY (Nanaimo, B.C.) --- Snuneymuxw First Nation (“SFN”) and Seacliff Properties (Sandstone) Ltd. (“Seacliff”) announced today that the parties have entered into a Recognition, Cooperation and Mutual Benefit Agreement (the “Partnership”) that clears the path for an enduring relationship that will bring overdue community amenities, goods and services, and infrastructure to the south-end of Nanaimo. The Sandstone Project is positioned to develop a 726-acre site for mixed uses and is located at the southernmost boundary of the City of Nanaimo, at the junctions of Cedar Road, Highway 1, and the Duke Point Highway. Please see map PDF attached below.
The Partnership is rooted in recognition of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 and respect for the Snuneymuxw People, enabling the return of 263 acres of land back to Snuneymuxw First Nation. These lands, adjacent to the Nanaimo River Estuary, are part of Snuneymuxw villages that were taken by the Crown from SFN nearly two centuries ago without the consent of the Snuneymuxw People. With the adoption of the Official Community Plan for Sandstone in February, 88 acres of land, including the ancient village site, will be transferred to Snuneymuxw First Nation. Upon successful rezoning of the property an additional 25 acres will be transferred along with an option to purchase an additional 150 acres for total of 263 acres.
“This Partnership is another step forward on the road to reconciliation with the private sector and is geared to strengthen our peoples’ spiritual, cultural, social and economic connection to the Snuneymuxw village sites that are being returned to us. Re-building 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”, said SFN Acting Chief William Yoachim. “We are grateful for the support shown by Jim Hartshorne of Keycorp, and Jeff Luccock of Seacliff in our Nation’s pursuit of treaty implementation. Our partnership aligns with the provincial objectives for transportation and infrastructure including the municipal goals in the current Official Community Plan. We will continue to work with the Cinnabar Valley Neighborhood Association and others to bring overdue attention, resources, economic opportunities and amenities to the south-end of Nanaimo and the entire mid-Island region”.
This land transfer is a commitment from Seacliff to SFN that forms an important component of the Sandstone Project, which has successfully gained Official Community Plan Approval. The rezoning application for the Sandstone project is with the City of Nanaimo for review. The Sandstone Project is poised to bring meaningful economic and business opportunities through new industrial, light industrial and commercial development along with housing choices, parks, open spaces, and other amenities to South Nanaimo. Importantly, this Partnership supports the City of Nanaimo’s ReImagine process and strategic priorities for First Nation reconciliation and creating a more livable Nanaimo in the south-end.
“Many of Snuneymuxw’s growing population lives away from home because of a lack of land base and inability to live and earn a livelihood on such small reserve lands,” said Jeff Luccock, President, Seacliff. “The Snuneymuxw First Nation is striving to create opportunities to fulfill their economic potential and we are honoured to be a part of that”.
“The City of Nanaimo is honoured to participate in this historic event. Great cities aren’t created by accident, they are built by neighbours collectively creating a vision and road map for the City's future,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog. “Our council is committed to advancing Truth and Reconciliation, and the Sandstone project will not only bring economic benefits to the region but creates opportunities for Snuneymuxw First Nation to be full partners in our economy.”
About Snuneymuxw First Nation:
The Snuneymuxw are a vibrant First Nation of the Coast Salish People, residing in the centre of Coast Salish territory on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, with villages on the Fraser River and waterways in the Gulf Islands. Snuneymuxw territory encompasses one of the most productive and resource rich areas at the heart of the Salish Sea.
On December 23, 1854, the Snuneymuxw People entered the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 to forever and always preserve and protect Snuneymuxw villages, enclosed fields, waterways, harvesting and gathering, and the rights to hunt and fisheries as formerly. Often referred to as a trade and commerce treaty, the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 is protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Ancestors were brilliant to protect the Snuneymuxw way of being by entering into the strongest treaty agreement available to Canada.
For more information, please visit www.snuneymuxw.ca.
About Seacliff Properties: Seacliff Properties is a privately-owned BC-based development company with numerous successful developments throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Seacliff prioritizes sound planning principles, and purchases, plans, and develops properties where there is potential for long-term community benefit and value.
For more information regarding Seacliff Properties, please visit: www.seacliffgroup.com
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Director – Acquisitions and Asset Management