Ottawa reaches $59M settlement with Matsqui First Nation for 1909 land seizure

Click to play video: '$59M for Matsqui First Nation in land claim settlement'
$59M for Matsqui First Nation in land claim settlement
The federal Indigenous relations minister was in Abbotsford to provide details on the $59-million compensation deal for the Matsqui First Nation. The Fraser Valley First Nation says what once was a 3800-hectare reserve has been reduced by 99 percent over the past 150 years. – Feb 21, 2024

The federal government has reached a $59-million settlement with a First Nation in British Columbia for compensation over allowing a right-of-way to be built through its reserve more than 110 years ago.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree and Matsqui First Nation Chief Alice McKay jointly announced the settlement, compensating for the federal government’s taking of land in 1908 for the Vancouver Power Company right-of-way.

The federal government says construction of the corridor effectively severed access to some reserve lands on the Sahhacum Indian Reserve 1 and Matsqui Main Indian Reserve 2.

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A government statement says Canada was supposed to make sure crossings were built and maintained on the right-of-way, but it didn’t keep that agreement and the nation’s access to its reserve lands was cut off.

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Anandasangaree says in the statement that the resolution reflects the federal government’s “desire to do better” in addressing its past treatment of First Nations.

The statement says proper compensation for “decades of colonial policies” is fundamental to rebuild trust with Indigenous communities.


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