Comox council unanimously supported the decision to proceed with a historic land transfer agreement between the town and K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) at a meeting on Sept. 8.
The land to be transferred includes a portion of the popular North East Woods in Comox, a network of trails used by residents and visitors for walking and biking for many years. The area is part of the K’ómoks First Nation’s traditional territory.
In 2012, Comox and KFN entered into an agreement to seek a Crown grant from the province, to have the province first grant the land to the Town of Comox and later have it sell the land to KFN for $10.
Further, at the time of sale, KFN will lease the lands back to the town at a rate of $10 for a 99-year term, which will see the area continue to be enjoyed as a public park. The lease will then need to be extended by mutual agreement of both parties.
“On behalf of Comox council and the town, I am pleased to see this agreement finalized,” Mayor Russ Arnott said in a news release. “We view this as an important action that recognizes and further demonstrates our commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which council adopted earlier this year. It will collectively ensure the enjoyment of the land for residents for many years to come.”
When the land is transferred, KFN will name the park and together with the town will design new signage to display the new name and contain KFN cultural and historical information. K’ómoks traditional knowledge, culture and heritage will be utilized as one of five fundamental values in managing the North East Woods.
For more information on this or other initiatives of the town visit comox.ca.