Squamish Nation has big Burrard ambition 0
Mayor Gregor Robertson will sign an "historic" agreement with the Squamish Nation Monday at city hall.
The memorandum of understanding and protocol agreement will cover economic and environmental
issues and is likely connected to the North Van-based tribe's desire to capitalize on land it owns around the south end of the Burrard Bridge.
"They've got big plans for development," Robertson told 24 hours. "We'll take that as it comes. This is about committing to a stronger partnership . to work through issues like development."
On April 8, band members voted 991-196 in favour of designating the 8.67-acre parcel for lease and development. Artist renderings show a tower west of the bridge's south end and a series of mid-rise buildings to the east.
In 2002, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a judge's decision to return the former Kitsilano Indian Reserve - known as Senakw - to the Squamish, which was formed by the 1923 merger of 16 Coast Salish tribes. The land was expropriated for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886 and 1901, but the band sued when the CPR tried selling in the late 1980s.
The Squamish Nation is stuck midway through the six-stage federal and provincial treaty-making process. Tribal negotiators walked away from land claims talks to pursue Olympic business opportunities and it is not known when bargaining will resume.