Thlap’Qwum Community Settlement Trust

Apr. 1/19

The Thlap’qwum Specific Claim was first filed in 1992 with Canada and now more than 20 years later Snuneymuxw Chief and Council are proud to announce that the Nation has accepted the settlement claim from the Government of Canada.

Over these past years, the Snuneymuxw Chief and Council have been working hard to finalize drafting of the settlement agreement with Canada and drafting of our own trust agreement.

The Snuneymuxw First Nation has actively pursued this settlement with Canada for the loss of a 79-acre Indian Reserve that used to be located along Stewart Avenue in Nanaimo across from Newcastle Island. The wrongful taking of the Indian Reserve happened in the 1880s. Elders of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, late Chester Thomas in particular, pressed the Snuneymuxw Government to address this loss. The Specific Claim was submitted in 1993 by late Chief Robert Thomas. Canada accepted the Specific Claim as valid, and offered to enter into negotiations in 2003.

These negotiations resulted in the settlement offer made by Canada in the summer of 2014. The Settlement Offer amounts to a total settlement amount of $49,148,121. Since 2003, negotiation costs for legal counsel and for the negotiations team cost $1,155,655. This was added to the settlement amount. Therefore, the net settlement amount under the 2014 offer is $47,992,466. Snuneymuxw Chief and Council accepted this amount last year.

One important outstanding issue we are working urgently to address with Canada is the issue of replacement lands – both the amount and location. The DND lands adjacent to Vancouver Island University have always been part of the discussion with Canada to fulfill this purpose and we are working to confirm Canada’s commitment to make these lands available to us.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge and express gratitude and respect to former leaders and members of the community who have worked so diligently to bring our Nation to this point – this settlement has transformative potential for Snuneymuxw to overcome the loss of this critical 79 acres of Indian Reserve land in downtown Nanaimo.

Here are some Quick Facts:

·      There are 5 Community Trustee’s who manage the trust.

·      Some of the Community Trustee’s are appointed by Chief and Council and some Community Trustee’s are elected by the membership.

·      There is an Administrative Trustee who is the gatekeeper of the trust, who oversees the Community Trustee’s, and who is responsible for implementing the terms of the Trust Agreement.

 

Please explore the periodically updated information regarding the Thlap’Qwum Trust Agreement.