Land returned to shíshálh another step supporting reconciliation

November 12, 2021 at 6:21 pm  BC, News, Politics

The Province has returned almost 100 hectares (247 acres) of Crown land called kwentan makw’ali to the shíshálh Nation.

kwentan makw’ali is a 99.6-hectare parcel of land, on the south shore of Salmon Inlet approximately 16 kilometres north of Sechelt. It is a heavily forested area with few roads and is of historic importance to the Nation.

“The return of land is just one important step on the journey of reconciliation between our two governments,” said Chief (hiwus) Warren Paull of the shíshálh Nation. “It is another example of how by working together to transform our relationship we can make real change.”

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Nicoholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast, joined hiwus Paull, hewhiwus Selina August and others for a tour of the shíshálh swiya on Nov. 12, 2021. The party visited several cultural sites in Sechelt inlet, the newly acquired ts’ayemay lands in porpoise bay and toured the kwentan makw’ali coastline by boat.

“shíshálh territory, or the swiya, is truly breathtaking, and I was honoured to have the opportunity to celebrate all we have accomplished together, including the transfer of kwentan makw’ali to the Nation,” Rankin said. “We are proud to work together with the shíshálh – in a long-term, government-to-government relationship, that supports shíshálh community wellness and regional economic development.”

Over the past year, the Province returned an additional three parcels of land totalling 616 hectares (1,522 acres) of land to the shíshálh Nation for economic development and contributed $9 million to support plans to build and operate new affordable housing. In addition, in co-operation with the Nation, the Province restored traditional names along the Sunshine Coast to reflect the language, culture and heritage of the shíshálh.

“This is another good step on the path of reconciliation,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and MLA for Powell River – Sunshine Coast. “This agreement is another example of how our commitment to reconciliation is being put into action.”

The return of kwentan makw’ali is part of the Province’s ongoing reconciliation work with the Nation, which is also supported by the landmark 2018 Foundation Agreement. The Foundation Agreement recognizes and respects Indigenous title and rights and supports self-determination and shíshálh self-government. Under the agreement, the Province and shíshálh Nation committed to working together to protect the environment and promote economic opportunity and growth for the shíshálh Nation and the entire Sechelt region.

The shíshálh Nation is located on the Sechelt Peninsula of the Sunshine Coast, 50 kilometres northwest of Vancouver. The shíshálh swiya covers 514,520 hectares (1,271,407 acres) that stretch from xenichen (northern end of Jervis Inlet) to kalpilin (Pender Harbour), and from kwekwenis (Lang Bay) in the west and xwesam (Roberts Creek) in the southeast.

Learn More:

Information on the shíshálh Nation: www.shíshálh.com (shishalh.com)

Learn more about agreements between the Province and shíshálh online:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/sechelt-sh-sh-lh-first-nation

 

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