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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read