First Nation band votes for development in Hammonds Plains
The Sipekne'katik band voted in favour of designating Wallace Hills for commercial development
Members of a Nova Scotia First Nation have voted yes to developing land the band owns in Hammonds Plains near Halifax.
The vote means band council can now move forward with a corporate and residential plan for the site at Wallace Hills.
The referendum vote was held throughout the day in Indian Brook with 73 per cent of the 239 votes cast in support of designating the land for development.
The Wallace Hills site in Hammonds Plains is 54 hectares of land that belong to the Sipekne'katik band.
The only building on the Hammonds Plains site right now is a VLT gaming centre.
The band executive says any money the band would make from development would be turned around and invested into the reserve in Indian Brook.
The Shubenacadie band's operations manager Nathan Sack said there have been discussions around residential and business park areas.
“We're not entirely sure what either or is going to look like. Right now they're discussions, they're concepts,” he said.
Band member Sandra Sack says the Sipekne’katik reserve in Indian Brook is in need of development for the sake of future generations.
"There would be more sport activities for the children, recreational activities, the children would benefit from that,” she said.
Millbrook Reserve development
The Sipekne'katik band could follow the model rolled out by the Millbrook Reserve. The Power Centre was built next to highway 102 on First Nation land offering a major boost in the community.
But not everybody in Indian Brook wants the new Wallace Hills development.
"The people that can afford to put a store in Hammonds Plains will only benefit,” said band member Matt Meuse.