On May 11, 2024, Chief Pahalicktun of Lyackson First Nation, Chief Cindy Daniels of Cowichan Tribes, and Premier David Eby of the Province of British Columbia signed an Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA) to transfer a 312-hectare parcel of land in the Cowichan River valley to the two First Nations.

The signing of the Incremental Treaty Agreement represents a collaborative effort to advance reconciliation and foster economic development.  As part of the ITA, the Nations have entered into an inter-community memorandum of understanding that holds the lands in partnership until a plan is put in place to divide the lands into equal, separate parcels.

Chief Pahalicktun of Lyackson First Nation aptly described the significance of this milestone as a historic day for the two communities:

“It is the first step in bringing the Leeyq’sun Mustimuhw back together in a village, which will strengthen our community, our culture and our economy for today and for future generations.”

For generations in the Cowichan region and across BC, Indigenous communities have advocated for the return of their ancestral and traditional lands, recognizing that access to land is essential for fostering economic self-sufficiency and community well-being. The economic implications of this agreement extend beyond the immediate transfer of land. By gaining control over the 312-hectare parcel valued at approximately $8.55 million, Lyackson First Nation and Cowichan Tribes are reclaiming their ancestral territory and unlocking new opportunities for economic development and prosperity.

One key aspect of economic development within Indigenous communities is the ability to leverage natural resources sustainably. The land in question holds immense cultural and ecological significance, providing opportunities for eco-tourism, traditional harvesting practices, and resource management initiatives aligning with Indigenous stewardship and conservation values.

Moreover, the agreement paves the way for infrastructure development and community investment initiatives that will stimulate economic opportunities. Access to land for housing, cultural gatherings, and commercial ventures will bolster community resilience and foster entrepreneurship among Indigenous youth.

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135 Third Street
Duncan, BC
Canada V9L 1R9
edc@cvrd.bc.ca
T 250.746.7880
TF 1.866.746.2508

Economic
Development
Cowichan

Economic
Development
Cowichan

135 Third Street
Duncan, BC
Canada V9L 1R9
edc@cvrd.bc.ca
T 250.746.7880
TF 1.866.746.2508