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First Nations Announce Partnership for the Willingdon Lands

For Immediate Release
April 10th, 2014

First Nations Announce Partnership for the Willingdon Lands
BURNABY AND COAST SALISH TERRITORY – The Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Musqueam Indian Band are very proud to announce that they have entered into a joint partnership agreement with the Aquilini Investment Group in the purchase and development of the ‘Willingdon Lands’. The partnership is based on equal sharing and mutual respect with each partner owning one-third of the partnership and fully participating in all aspects of management and development of the lands.
“Our coming together in partnership reflects our tradition of working together to benefit our people”, said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “We believe that by partnering with successful business people we can develop First Nation economic opportunities in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish”, added Chief Sparrow.

The 16 hectare Willingdon Lands are located at the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way in the City of Burnaby. The lands are currently occupied by provincial agencies which will continue to lease the land from the partnership for another three years to allow for sufficient time to relocate to a program specific facility on a different property.

“The Aquilini Investment Group has been working with Lower Mainland First Nations for the past 20 years and are proud of the relationships we have cultivated in that time”, said Brennan Cook, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development. “We are excited to partner with the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and feel humble and grateful that we were selected to be equal partners on the Willingdon Lands. The Partnership looks forward to working together with the City of Burnaby to deliver a project that delivers benefits to the residents of Burnaby, the City of Burnaby, and the Partnership”, added Cook.

In late March 2014, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Musqueam Indian Band, along with the Squamish Nation, signed a historic Protocol Agreement that highlights how the Nations will share the benefits of the land equally within their territories. “We are all family, our ancestors used to live on these lands together with no city lines or boundaries”, said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas. “We will continue to work together to share our traditional territories and to ensure all our partners see the benefit of working together as one.”

The partnership paid fair market value for the lands and has concluded all closing conditions with the Province. There will be no disruption in services for the programs currently operating from Willingdon as a result of this sale.

Media Contacts:
Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Sarah Thomas

Musqueam Indian Band
Doug Raines

Aquilini Investment Group
Brennan Cook



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