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Victory for the Musqueam Band

Jess Chan

October 5, 2012

After months of negotiation, vigils and protests against ancestral remains being dug up, members of the Musqueam Band have halted the destruction and exploitation of sacred land with help from other BC First Nations, community and labour allies, and the City of Vancouver.
On September 28, the BC government decided to cancel the development of a five-story condo in the Marpole-Midden area of Vancouver after the building site was considered sacred grounds for the Musqueam Band. Even with the province showing its support for the developers (Century Group), the Musqueam were able to reclaim what was theirs to begin with.
The c̓əsnaʔəm site where the development was proposed was declared a National Historic Site in 1933. A Coast Salish winter village, artifacts, and remains of the deceased have been buried there.
“We would love to be able to negotiate a way for the Musqueam to get the land back in their possession, and also the whole area, which was the site of a village where people lived for thousands of years,” said Musqueam spokesperson Wade Grant.
The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations even stated on Friday that development of the site “is no longer appropriate” after the discovery of the burial grounds.

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