VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – They will not give up until the remains of their ancestors are back in their care.
Hundreds of members of the Musqueam First Nation gathered this morning for a protest against a land developer who owns a portion of land that is considered to be an ancient burial ground, located under the Arthur Laing Bridge. Today marks 100 days since the dispute began.
Hundreds of supporters and band members gathered at 70th and Granville Street at the Safeway parking lot, holding signs that read: “Musqueam history is BC history” and “Respect our ancestors as you would your own.”
They headed down Granville and onto bridge on-ramp. Dozens of police officers accompanied them. They are also sending protesters to Christy Clark‘s constituency office with a petition.
The band’s Cecilia Point says the developer wants them to cover its costs. “Those costs should be covered by the province, not by the Musqueam. We didn’t do this. We didn’t tell them they can dig up our graveyard. The province did.”
“I don’t know why non-Natives all over the province understand this is wrong but the minister of Aboriginal relations does not,” she adds.
The province says it’s close to hammering out a deal with the Musequeam, but the band says that’s not true. Already, a $4.8-million settlement between the government and the band has been struck for a separate piece of the land.