Media Release - Sale of c̓əsnaʔəm (Marpole) Lands to Musqueam Indian Band Finalized


Sale of c̓əsnaʔəm (Marpole) Lands to Musqueam Indian Band Finalized

MUSQUEAM, 1 OCTOBER 2013 – The Musqueam Indian Band and developer Century Group are pleased to announce the successful sale of a two acre portion of c̓əsnaʔəm, also known as the Musqueam Marpole Village Site. The successful finalization of this transaction is the result of over 18 months of negotiation, involving Musqueam Chief and Council, Musqueam community members, Century Group, and the Province of BC.

This ancient village and burial site was declared a National Historic Site in 1933 as it includes one of the largest pre-contact middens in Western Canada. In early 2012, Century Group had approval from the City of Vancouver to develop a multi-family residential project on the site when, during pre-construction archaeological work, ancestral remains were uncovered. This unearthing of additional intact ancestral remains caused great anguish to Musqueam members. The proposed development would have destroyed an ancient and sacred burial place, a site precious to Musqueam; it is an important link to Musqueam’s ancient heritage extending back thousands of years.

“As Chief of the Musqueam Indian Band, I am pleased with the outcome. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Musqueam members and supporters who drove this process on the ground level. It is our teachings to always protect the interests of our membership, including our lands, history, and culture” said Chief Wayne Sparrow. “The successful resolution of the development plans for these lands demonstrates First Nations and private property owners can work together to understand each other’s interests, and conduct business in a respectful way.”

Century Group’s Sean Hodgins said he believes the outcome was fair:

“It took some time to get this outcome, but I appreciate the determination of the Musqueam leaders and their perseverance in working with us to reach an agreement. They followed through on their promise to me when I agreed to halt work – that they would pursue a purchase in good faith – and they followed through and they acted honourably.”

Musqueam is currently in discussion with all levels of government to identify the next steps to ensure the protection of c̓əsnaʔəmfor generations to come.

For more information, please contact:
Wayne Sparrow, Chief
via Johnna Sparrow
at Musqueam Indian Band (604)269-3314