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Salish Sea Sentinel | December 7, 2019

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TWN looks to expand reserve, move ahead on development

TWN looks to expand reserve, move ahead on development

Above: TWN Chief Leah George-Wilson. File photo.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is looking to expand its reserve by asking for the return 45 acres of its ancestral lands. 

The nation has filed an Addition to Reserve request with Canada, hoping to gain back official ownership of a parcel of adjacent land in Maplewood North. 

If the request is approved, the nation would move forward on economic growth and development in the area, according to a press release from Oct. 25.  

Proposed plans for an “innovation district” are currently in the works for the area, in a partnership between Tsleil-Waututh and the developer Darwin Properties. 

The North Shore Innovation District would involve a sustainable development with hundreds of new rental homes, plus businesses, community amenities and more.  

Chief Leah George-Wilson said, if the Addition to Reserve is approved under new federal legislation, leaders will move forward on consultation for developing the area.  

She said leadership is making the plans with self-sufficiency and sovereignty in mind.  

“(The development would) bring additional transportation options for our community, diverse housing types, employment opportunities and more support for local businesses and services that will result in ongoing economic stability for TWN and the neighbouring community overall,” she said in a community video. 

“We look forward to working with our own Tsleil-Waututh community members as well as the District of North Vancouver throughout this process.” 

George-Wilson also stressed the importance of regaining control of ancestral village sites. 

The 45-acre Maplewood North site is located at the village Squaw-uck and sits between two other villages, Sleil-waututh (Burrard Inlet Indian Reserve No. 3) and Jol-gulhook (Seymour Creek). 

“As a nation, Tsleil-Waututh has always spoken about the significance of our villages and our history of our people,” she said. 

“The return of this ancestral land will not only help to reconcile the past for TWN, but allow the nation to thrive in the future through increasing our small land base, moving towards economic prosperity for present and future generations and continuing to build meaningful relationships with our neighbours.” 

More information about the Addition to Reserve request and proposed development is available at www.twnation.ca or www.darwinconstruction.ca