NANAIMO – Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN) and Seacliff Properties (Sandstone) Ltd. (Seacliff) announced that the parties have entered into a Recognition, Cooperation and Mutual Benefit Agreement (the Partnership) that clears the path for an enduring relationship that will bring overdue community amenities, goods and services, and infrastructure to the south-end of Nanaimo. The Sandstone Project is positioned to develop a 726-acre site for mixed uses and is located at the southernmost boundary of the City of Nanaimo, at the junctions of Cedar Road, Highway 1, and the Duke Point Highway.
The Partnership is rooted in recognition of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 and respect for the Snuneymuxw People, enabling the return of 263 acres of land back to Snuneymuxw First Nation. These lands, adjacent to the Nanaimo River Estuary, are part of Snuneymuxw villages that were taken by the Crown from SFN nearly two centuries ago without the consent of the Snuneymuxw People. With the adoption of the Official Community Plan for Sandstone in February, 88 acres of land, including the ancient village site, will be transferred to Snuneymuxw First Nation. Upon successful rezoning of the property an additional 25 acres will be transferred along with an option to purchase an additional 150 acres for total of 263 acres.
“This Partnership is another step forward on the road to reconciliation with the private sector and is geared to strengthen our peoples’ spiritual, cultural, social and economic connection to the Snuneymuxw village sites that are being returned to us. Re-building the SFN land base preserved and protected under the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854 honours the solemn confirmations and promises that were made over 165 years ago on these great lands”, said SFN Acting Chief William Yoachim. “We are grateful for the support shown by Jim Hartshorne of Keycorp, and Jeff Luccock of Seacliff in our Nation’s pursuit of treaty implementation. Our partnership aligns with the provincial objectives for transportation and infrastructure including the municipal goals in the current Official Community Plan. We will continue to work with the Cinnabar Valley Neighborhood Association and others to bring overdue attention, resources, economic opportunities and amenities to the south-end of Nanaimo and the entire mid-Island region”.
This land transfer is a commitment from Seacliff to SFN that forms an important component of the Sandstone Project, which has successfully gained Official Community Plan Approval. The rezoning application for the Sandstone project is with the City of Nanaimo for review. The Sandstone Project is poised to bring meaningful economic and business opportunities through new industrial, light industrial and commercial development along with housing choices, parks, open spaces, and other amenities to South Nanaimo. Importantly, this Partnership supports the City of Nanaimo’s ReImagine process and strategic priorities for First Nation reconciliation and creating a more livable Nanaimo in the south-end