Ancient Musqueam village, burial site saved in Vancouver

The Musqueam First Nation says it has finalized the purchase of land in Vancouver's Marpole area that contains an aboriginal village and burial site that are estimated to be 3,000 years old.

The Marpole Midden site in South Vancouver has been sold to the Musqueam First Nation

Musqueam First Nations leaders fought the development of the Marpole Midden land, saying it should be preserved.

The Musqueam First Nation says it has finalized the purchase of land in Vancouver's Marpole area that contains an aboriginal village and burial site that are estimated to be 3,000 years old.

A new condo development was to be built on the privately-owned property until the discovery of human remains halted construction and led to protests last year.

The B.C. government had granted development permits, but the Musqueam First Nation argued that was a mistake  and said the land should be returned to the band to preserve.

Musqueam Councillor Wade Grant says they paid millions of dollars for the two-acre parcel, which they plan on turning into a park.

"We want to make sure that we protect that entire area. That's just a small portion of what is traditionally known as our traditional village site."

Developer Sean Hodgins with Century Group says the band acted in good faith and bought the land, but it's a tricky precedent because not every landowner may be willing to sell his property in the same situation.

"In this case the Musqueam ultimately acted honorably and dealt with it. Had they not, we would still be in limbo and I don't think any landowner should have to face that," he said.            

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