The Kwikwetlem First Nation wants everyone to know that it intends to become an owner of the Riverview Hospital lands in Coquitlam.
Today (July 10), the First Nation served notice in a "communiqué" that it asserts aboriginal title to the whole Riverview site, which lies in its traditional territory.
The First Nation's full statement reads:
The Kwikwetlem First Nation wishes to put the Province and its agencies, local municipalities, and citizen’s groups on notice that the Kwikwetlem claim aboriginal title interests to all the lands associated with Riverview Hospital (Riverview Lands), among other areas in their traditional territory.
The Kwikwetlem First Nation have plied the waters and lived on the land of their traditional territory since time immemorial. Evidence of the Kwikwetlem First Nation’s occupation of the territory reaches back nearly 9000 years. In particular, Elders’ stories tell of the Kwikwetlem intensively using and occupying the lands surrounding what is now referred to as the Coquitlam River, including the Riverview Lands. The Kwikwetlem First Nation have thousands of years of traditions tied to the Riverview Lands, including the use and occupation of the land itself.
Through community consultation and legal review, the Kwikwetlem First Nation have decided to announce their position on Riverview based on their claim of title. The Kwikwetlem First Nation wish to make it clear that they expect to become an owner of the Riverview Lands and lead the future development of these lands.
The Kwikwetlem First Nation envision a development scenario for Riverview that is based on highest and best use with a goal towards maximizing the benefits to the Nation as land owner. In response to the myriad of recommendations for the future development of the Riverview Lands, the Kwikwetlem First Nation will contemplate any use that makes economic sense.