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

Alleged Penticton shooter John Brittain waives preliminary trial

Brittain will return to court in January to schedule a trial date

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

James and Jamesy return to Penticton for more Christmas tea

Their Dec. 17 show explores friendship, the joy of giving, and a celebration of the imagination

Santa Parade lights up the streets of Penticton

People lined Main Street through the rain and chill in the air.

Tenore trio want to celebrate a Christmas with You

The tenor group performs at Penticton’s Church of the Nazarene tonight at 6 p.m.

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Two Okanagan residents convicted and fined for hunting out of season

Both residents were convicted in a Kelowna provincial court

Book examines history of B.C. wine industry

Author Luke Whittall has studied the growth of the industry from the mid-19th century to today

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Holiday lights displayed in Summerland neighbourhood

Trout Creek neighbourhood to hold fourth annual lights contest

Most Read