Muir Creek

CLIENT: T’Sou-ke First Nation
DATE: 2020-2023

Project Overview

FIRST NATIONS LEAD THE WAY. This statement adorns every page of the T’Sou-ke Nation’s website and is echoed in a Suzuki Foundation report on Tribal Parks, which notes that First Nations are “taking the lead in protecting the places that are essential to them.” The lands and village around Muir Creek have traditionally been known to the T’Sou-ke people as Chee-a-nun. Re-acquiring these lands takes these words off the page and puts them into action through a Nation-led process of title acquisition and land-use planning. Chee-a-nun was dispossessed by collaboration between the E&N Railway and the colonial government in 1880. Over 800,000 hectares of land were transferred from the Crown to Robert Dunsmuir’s E&N Railway cementing his status as one of the richest men in B.C. The E&N Land grant forms a triangle that stretch across Vancouver Island, with Muir Creek as its apex. The project to re-establish the Nation’s presence on the historically significant traditional territory was launched on a sunny day in October 2020.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Completed Environmental Assessment Phase 1, Phase 2 Scoping
  • Secured $150K in funding
  • Established a land-use masterplan and zoning requirements
  • Publicized historical and cultural use of the site via archives and accounts
  • Costed out rezoning and infrastructure costing (Class D estimates)
  • Negotiated interim access agreement terms

At every stage, the planning process and the information included in this project were examined to protect the interests of the T’Sou-ke Nation, namely, their desire to repatriate the Chee-a-nun lands, diversify the T’Sou-ke Nation economy, and be a regional and national leader in oceans protection, research, and conservation.

– Kurt Salchert, Marine Advisor to the T’Sou-ke Marine Team

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