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Ferry Island Road Closure

For Immediate Release
Friday April 14, 2000
CHEAM FIRST NATION
RE: ROAD CLOSURE: FERRY ISLAND ROAD

Cheam First Nation has had to resort to direct action to compel government officials to act in good faith as required by the Supreme ourt of Canada Ruling in Delgamuukw. Ferry Island is a piece of land situated on the Fraser River in Cheam (Rosedale), British Columbia on which there have developed four major land issues.

On Thursday March 30, 2000, the Province sent Michael Coon to officially notify the CheamBand Council of the Province's intent to implement the recommendations of the Fraser Lowland Protected Areas Study. Implementation of these recommendations would alienate the subject properties even further from the Band. Prior to this, Chief and Council became aware of the issue through the local newspaper. This is only one issue.

Cheam First Nation has taken issue with the registration of the property to Provincial title, because it is in fact an accretion onto Cheam Indian Reserve #1, and should as a matter of administrative course, automatically have been included in the Cheam land register. It should not have been registered as Provincial Crown lands. The Band has attempted to resolve the issues for decades with initiatives like;

-1953 Letter from the Chief and Council to the Province of British Columbia.

-1970s Coucil talked to Indian Affairs about the transfer of Ferry Island, requesting transfer to take place immediately.

-Mid 70s Council meet with Ministry of Parks and Recreation.

-Mid 80s Ferry Island was identified as one of the islands, with a numerical land description. Official claims were pursued on this piece of land.


Cheam First Nation has taken issue with the general use of their traditional area in the past. We have tried to come to terms with other users and government, without satisfaction. We are wary of the sincerity of the Province of British Columbia Ministries. Cheam initially agreed to enter the Treaty Process in good faith based on the promise of the Province of British Columbia to implement interim measures to protect our land and resources from alienation during the talks. This did not happen, hence the closure of Ferry Island Road.

For further information contact Cheam First Nation at 604-794-7924 or Chief June Quipp at 819-4805.