After generations of displacement, ‘Vancouver Island’ lands returned to Lyackson, Cowichan FirstNations

Surrounded by sun-dappled trees and the gentle rushing sound of Skutz Falls, a historic agreement to return 312 hectares of land to Lyackson First Nation and Cowichan Tribes was signed last week as part of an Incremental Treaty Agreement. The land parcel is a culturally significant piece in the Cowichan River Valley that the provincial government purchased from Mosaic Forest Management for $8.55 million. “These unceded lands, which feature prominently in our oral history, and hold great meaning for our families, are being returned to Quw’utsun,” said Cowichan Tribes Chief Cindy Daniels (Sulsulxumaat). Pre-colonization, the Leey’qsun Mustimuhw (people of Lyackson First Nation) had a winter village at the mouth of the Quw’utsun Sta’lo’ (Cowichan River), but until now, the only lands the nation had as reserves were at T’a’at’ka7 ,…

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