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

Budget is dam good!

Proposed 2020 budget include no tax increase and road repaving

Breakfast Club of Canada launches the day right

P.R.M.S. students are fed the benefits of community partnerships

Chinese New Year celebrates 2020 year of the rat

Lions woken in rare traditional Chinese New Year ceremony

Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop near Prince Rupert

Driver was sent to hospital after stealing the running vehicle from company lot

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

UPDATE: Arrests made, tires slashed on patrol cars in northern B.C., says RCMP

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read