vernonweb
5/23/01


Stranger Than Fiction


And now, purely in the interest of WWWeirdness: two past ('95, '98) items about a little, Native American Artifact-loaded Canadian town that probably never heard of little, Native American Artifact-loaded Vernon NJ, and a big corporation coincidentally well known to both.

We suggest you don't even try to draw any conclusions. Some things are just too weird.

From Canada.com - [British Columbia] Keyloops Daily News 4/27/95

Today (April 27) the Nanoose First Nation on Vancouver Island put up a blockade at Craig Bay - site of a 500-unit condo development going in on top of what may be the largest aboriginal burial site in B.C. So far 147 full and partial skeletons have been excavated and stored in boxes during the ground-clearing for the condos. An additional 248 are above ground and exposed. Jaw bones, teeth and skull fragments were plainly visible, strewn about the dug up site. And an additional 600-800 skeletons remain in the ground.

The Nanoose First Nation blockade was successful in halting development today, and they say the will continue the blockade for as long as it takes - no more ancestral remains will be disturbed. At Day One of the Nanoose blockade this morning, members from at least 8 other Native nations in B.C. were present - some from a very long way away.

When the Nanoose First Nation went to court to try to quash the developers permits, the provincial government lawyer argued that a victory for the Natives would endanger developments all over the province. The judge ultimately ruled that the Nanoose burial site could not be included under the B.C. Cemetary Act because the remains were too old. The site dates back 4,000 years and the most recent remains dated so far are about 200 years old.

The developer, Intrawest Development Corp. of Vancouver, has offered to sell the Nanoose First Nation the 18-acre burial site within the 150-acre development for $30 million. Intrawest bought the entire 150 acres for about $800,000 five years ago.

[See also :
Intracorp (IntraWest) Map of Craig Bay]


Province of British Columbia, 3rd Session, 36th Parliament -- Part 1: March - July 1998, Debates of the Legislative Assembly (Hansard)[ Page 8225 ]

P. Reitsma: Near the end of February 1994, a burial site was accidentally uncovered by the developer during unpermitted activity. Further studies were initiated, and they determined that the archaeological significance of the site had been underestimated. I have two or three questions. If the minister doesn't have the immediate answer, that's fine, as long as I can get it later. What kind of unpermitted activity took place? Studies were initiated. Who paid for them, and how much were those studies? What was the archaeological significance?

Hon. I. Waddell: I can say that yes, it was underestimated. I don't have those specific answers, but I'll endeavour to get them for the member.

P. Reitsma: That's fine, because it will be in Hansard. I appreciate the comment. Subsequent to the discoveries, it was determined that removing the burials would not be practical. Would the minister know why it wasn't practical and according to whom it was not practical?

Hon. I. Waddell: There are a number of phases in this project. I will get the member the details of that.
Interjection.
Hon. I. Waddell: There are several phases and different sites. If the member wants to give us any specific correspondence regarding specific sites, we'll endeavour to reply.

P. Reitsma: In 1995 -- I talked to the minister at that time -- the province agreed to purchase some 14 acres of the 135 acres for $7.8 million. In fact, it was $6.8 million, plus $1 million in land to be agreed upon. There was some downtime. I just wonder if any of the costs associated with the downtime were incorporated in that purchase price. Who determined that price? It says that it might have been an independent market-value appraisal of the property. If that's the case, who did the appraisal?

Hon. I. Waddell: I'll try to get the member the information. I'm looking at my estimates, and I don't see a figure for Craig Bay.

A Voice: That's '95.

Hon. I. Waddell: That's 1995, and I'm dealing with '98-99.

P. Reitsma: I appreciate that, but I just wonder if there were any further costs or grants associated with the project. I know that there was $7.8 million and $1 million in land, which didn't materialize. It said that mutually agreeable property was not located. I wonder who was not agreeable. I wonder if there are any other costs or grants associated that will be paid to the project. Have any other studies been undertaken to find out if there are other artifacts or bones?
Just for the information of the minister, I happened to be present when they had an extremely moving ceremony to remove the bones. There were hundreds of our native friends there from all over the northwest. It was a very moving ceremony to provide closure to the unearthing of the bones. It was extremely impressive, actually.
I just wonder if there are more grants or more cash or more land exchanges being contemplated. Of course, the projects are still ongoing.

Hon. I. Waddell: I'm glad the hon. member drew our attention to the moving ceremony. That's why it's a complex matter, and that's why there are different interests that you have to deal with here. I'm not aware of any other studies or grants. The government paid $6.8 million for the property. It was to be a land swap. That didn't happen, so an extra million dollars was paid. The owner, Intrawest, still has a piece of land. I'm not aware of studies or more grants happening there.

A Voice: It's Intracorp.

Hon. I. Waddell: Sorry, it's not Intrawest. Intrawest is the ski people. Intracorp. . . .

A Voice: It's a subsidiary.

Hon. I. Waddell: Is that a subsidiary?

A Voice: Yeah.

Hon. I. Waddell: Intrawest seems to own everything, but Intracorp is a subsidiary, I'm told. They own the apartment-site land. Human remains remain secured in a metal container and are stored on the part of the site purchased by the province.

P. Reitsma: Craig Bay Estates is a subsidiary of Intrawest from Vancouver.



 

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