The Matsqui First Nations community centre building. (Stan Morgan photo.)

B.C. First Nation makes claim for sale of reserve lands 150 years ago

More than 99 per cent of reserve land sold to settlers with compensation, according to claim

The Matsqui First Nation have filed a claim against the federal government for the sale of almost their entire reservation land over 150 years ago by the Colony of British Columbia.

The claim states 99 per cent of the 9,600 acres administered to the Matsqui by the colonial government in 1864 was sold out from under them to incoming settlers in the Fraser Valley.

The claim is being made under Canada’s Specific Claim Policy which states that Indigenous bands who historically suffered under colonial government treaty breaches are entitled to compensation from today’s federal government.

“The reconciliation of this claim has been a priority for Matsqui for many years,” said Chief Alice McKay. “Resolving historical grievances with Matsqui is critical to renewing our relationship with Canada and advancing reconciliation.”

The history of the 9,600 acre sale goes back to Joseph Trutch’s role as chief commissioner of lands in the 1860’s. Trutch ignored the previously established land treaties and allowed Indigenous reserves to be downsized and sold off to settlers.

Only a tiny piece of the original reserve exists today at the north end of Abbotsford along the Fraser River.

“This is not about coming after private property owners for the lands, or about displacing people from the City of Abbotsford,” said Matsqui Coun. Brenda Morgan. “This is about truth-seeking and justice for our people. We want closure on this matter so our people can heal and we can all progress together in this great region we all call home.”

McKay said the claim has been worked on for over a decade she expects it to take three years before being resolved.


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

RELATED: Matsqui First Nation considering marijuana at new greenhouse operation

RELATED: Family of first Indigenous teacher in B.C. is subject of new book

Just Posted

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

Entrepreneur implements safety measures to cope with long weekend

Ryan Haynes prepares for both the pandemic and for the Victoria Day long weekend in May.

Wings Over the Rockies encourages nature viewing during pandemic

Three local photographers and Wings supporters offer nature viewing tips.

Hospital chief of staff provides guidance on COVID-19 and the Columbia Valley as we open up

Chief of staff says: “COVID-19 … is still here and is not going away any time soon.”

Our community news matters

Guest editorial by Arnold Malone

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read