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District Lot 9 to be given to Snuneymuxw First Nation

Nanaimo council approved the purchase of land by the ministry of indigenous relations and reconciliation.

During a council meeting on Monday, the city approved the disposition of District Lot 9, with plans to transfer the property to the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

The lot was originally bought from the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company in 1889 to divert water for water supply.

With this being under the Snuneymuxw First Nation and British Columbia Land Transfer Agreement from 2020, it’s seen as a big step in recognizing the nation’s rights while advancing reconciliation.

The city says the lot spans 200 acres and is on the southwest slope on Mount Benson.

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Minister of Indigenous relations Murray Rankin says he’s proud of this historic step.

“The Mount Benson lands hold much opportunity for the Snuneymuxw First Nation to strengthen their connection to land and culture, create new economic activity, and protect wildlife habitat,” said Rankin.

Along with it being untouched by development, the water diversion infrastructure of the lot has been deactivated, keeping the city’s water supply unaffected.

For the city, the funds from this sale will be used for important projects, including affordable housing.

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