Following previous requests, representatives of the K’omoks First Nation met with members of Comox council and staff in late June for consultation on the revised Shakesides platform design.
In April, KFN asked the Town for consultation prior to any further work or design planning at Mack Laing Nature Park.
In a letter to council presented in April 2019, Chief Nicole Rempel said the proposed viewing platform and future improvement to the park have already been out for public consultation and decided upon with prior consultation with KFN.
Rempel noted KFN has previously written to former Mayor Paul Ives about the importance of the site and the large shell midden surrounding Comox Harbour.
“(It) has been well-known since at least 1907 and speaks to over two millennia of Aboriginal use and occupation here,” she wrote.
“The large shell midden here is of significant cultural importance to KFN. It is the resting place for many KFN ancestors.”
She added the protection of archaeological sites in KFN territory is a moral and spiritual obligation of the KFN people and is the law in British Columbia.
In a report to council, Richard Kanigan, the Town’s chief administrative officer, said he, Mayor Russ Arnott, Coun. Stephanie McGowan and parks superintendent Al Fraser met with Rempel and council to present the revised Shakesides platform design.
An onsite meeting was held June 28.
“In terms of the platform design, some suggestions were made as to how a First Nations theme could be incorporated into the design,” he wrote.
“Discussion included changing the steel support structures to either cedar poles or even giving consideration to using totem poles to reflect the significance of the First Nations use and occupation of the lands prior to Shakesides being constructed.”