Musqueam rally to protect burial grounds; plan to occupy construction site

The Musqueam band marched and rallied on Thursday, May 3rd to protest the continued development on ancient burial grounds in Marpole (1338 SW Marine Drive), where Musqueam ancestors are buried. Recently, intact 4,000-year old infant remains were discovered on the site, which prompted the band to renew efforts to stop development on the site and further desecration. The developer has indicated that construction on the site will continue, despite the Musqueam’s call for work to cease.

Musqueam Chief Ernie Campbell has indicated that the band would like to see a land swap with the developer Century Group in order to protect the burial ground site known as c̓əsnaʔəm. Ultimately the province must push this discussion forward, even though the City of Vancouver has facilitated discussions between the band and developer. Century Group plans to redevelop the site into HQ Living condominiums.

At Thursday’s rally, Chief Campbell addressed the crowd, along with Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation, and representatives from other bands. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the Assembly of First Nations have expressed their support for the Musqueam’s struggle to protect their burial grounds.

Chief Ernie Campbell told the media that they will occupy the site as long as necessary to protect their ancestors and prevent development.

Full coverage and more updates on the Tuesday, May 8th edition of The City.

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