Kwikwetlem First Nation asserts ownership of Riverview lands in Coquitlam

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      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.

      Both the B.C. government and the City of Coquitlam are looking at future development of the Riverview site.


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      Jul 10, 2014 at 8:57pm

      If we are talking about the best economic gain, we are definitely talking condo development. The hospital should be renovated and used as an health center, as proposed by the city of Coquitlam.

      If we let the first the Kwikwetlem First Nation simply take control of the land, there's only one outcome possible: residential development, just as in other First Nation lands in the Greater Vancouver.

      It should remain a caring facility, not become another condo development project.

      Tim Woo

      Jul 10, 2014 at 11:34pm

      Since Natives are really Asians that came to North America along time ago ; I would also like to lay claim to most of the Americas and be given "Native" status.


      Jul 11, 2014 at 11:24am

      If we look at how the The Kwikwetlem First Nation treat their land one only look at the property in Port Coquitlam just off of Pitt River Road. They have used it as a site where dump truck after dump truck unload their waste materials. I get the idea that the band would like compensation for lost lands but laying claim to such a property without any "Consultation" with existing land owners is preposterous. They do deserve the right to some sort of land but to outright claim this beautiful property is outrageous.

      Mark Armstrong

      Jul 11, 2014 at 11:54pm

      As a member of Kwikwetlem First Nations reservation, I am on board with the use of these for residential housing, we need our family back home where we all can be together once again, we've been separated for far too long and scatter across the lands for god knows how long.


      Jul 12, 2014 at 2:33am

      This land is indeed a strikingly beautiful place.

      And in fact, it was nearly 1000 acres before government cut it up and sold it off to become residential housing (which is now referred to as 'Riverview Heights'.

      I hope it can once again regain the spirit and vigour of balanced human habitation.

      It is a jewel of a place, and a boon to community.

      @Tim Woo

      Jul 12, 2014 at 11:48am

      Why is it that this sort of racist nationalism is OK but white nationalism is ridiculed? I'm not suggesting that either is a good idea; it just seems pretty darn hypocritical to support one racist group and to denigrate another. As far as I am aware, there is no scientific basis to claims of "nation", "race" or "tribe." Science knows no political borders. Why is a modern, science-based nation like Canada being subjected to unscientific racism in this day and age? It is high time that we enforced equality. Everyone is aboriginal, anyway. The true aboriginal people of earth are nomadic: they knew no country. They went wherever the fishing/hunting/whatever pleased them was good. And where they were for the time, that was their land. Only really strange cultures that practiced inbreeding (and developed large, sickly populations) got stuck in one place.

      Tim Woo

      Jul 12, 2014 at 10:16pm

      Sorry I was being sarcastic with my earlier comment. I fully agree that we shouldn't have different classes of citizenship. I don't understand why we can't just simply compensate the natives in exchange for them having the same rights as everyone else.

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      james allen

      Jul 13, 2014 at 7:24am

      Mr. Woo is correct about science. I fully agree that All Canadians are equal and I am sure that Aboriginals and others could use the proposed hospital. Claims that "now we can live on our native land after being torn apart for so long" is ridiculous. To all Aboriginals:ALL CANADIANS VALUE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO CANADA. You are also Canadians. But you do not get special rights based on your "tribe" any more than I get special rights based on my Scottish heritage.

      Nadine Lumley

      Aug 1, 2014 at 8:18am

      Meanwhile their 'chief' rakes in $800,000/yr

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