Adding the former Woodwynn Farm property to the existing reserve of the Tsartlip First Nation could take years, if the band were to make that choice, after it took ownership of the site earlier in December. (Black Press Media File).

Adding the former Woodwynn Farm property to the existing reserve of the Tsartlip First Nation could take years, if the band were to make that choice, after it took ownership of the site earlier in December. (Black Press Media File).

Tsartlip First Nation can add former Woodwynn Farm to reserve but faces lengthy process

Average length for reserve addition between five to seven years if band chooses that route

It is not clear yet how a local First Nation plans to use the former Woodwynn Farms site, but it could take years to be added to the existing reserve should that be the choice.

Tsartlip First Nation Chief Don Tom said earlier this month that the leadership of the nation will now consult its more than 1,000 members about best possible uses for the former Woodwynn Farm property after assuming possession on Dec. 16.

Tom said his nation is excited to acquire the 78-hectare property because it will help the nation expand its land base. The land, once used by the Tsartlip First Nation for hunting, farming and traditional practices, lies next to the nation’s only reserve. With more than 1,000 members, the community has run out of space to fulfill housing, recreational and cultural needs.

Tsartlip First Nation now owns the land as ordinary private property within the Agricultural Land Reserve after having purchased the farm from BC Housing through a $7.77-million grant from the provincial government.

“If they decide in future to add the property to their reserve, there is a federal process they would go through to do that,” said Tania Venn, communications manager with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Venn said the Tsartlip First Nation’s private purchase of the property from BC Housing did not require consultation with the federal government.

Additions to reserves can take place under three conditions: legal obligations and agreements; tribunal decisions; and community additions, when a First Nation with an existing reserve needs additional reserve land for uses that include the accommodation of community growth and the protection of culturally significant sites.

RELATED: Tsartlip First Nation takes possession of former Woodwynn Farm

Additions can be adjacent or apart from reserves, with additions both possible in rural or urban settings.

A 2005 report by the Auditor General of Canada found the average addition process (prior to recent legislative changes in 2018 under the Addition of Lands to Reserves and Reserve Creation Act) took five to seven years.

Other high-profile additions during the past decade elsewhere in British Columbia (be it by size or location) have taken place in Greater Vancouver (Musqueam), West Kelowna (West Bank First Nation) and northern British Columbia including the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation.

BC Housing purchased the site in July 2018 and has leased it to a local farmer, who is actively farming the property. That lease has been extended to September 2021.

The Peninsula News Review reached out multiple times to the Tsartlip First Nation for comment, but did not receive a response.

Martin Collins, the director of policy and planning for the Agricultural Land Commission, said the commission has no authority over additions to reserves.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read