P.E.I. First Nation to receive 11 hectares of Crown land
'It's a show of good faith, working with the First Nation'
Prince Edward Island has signed an agreement to transfer two parcels of land to Lennox Island First Nation.
Tuesday, the government said it is giving the community 11 hectares (more than 27 acres) of Crown land in Mount Pleasant for the First Nation to create a tourism centre.
"I feel really good that now we have the deed for it, so that we can start looking to the future and what we want to develop there," said Lennox Island Chief Darlene Bernard, noting the band had been looking to acquire the land for years.
"Right now, we're not sure what we want to develop there because there's a lot of things that are changing, like with energy and all those kinds of things, and solar. So we want to look at those kind of projects."
'Show of good faith'
The West Prince Visitor Information Centre currently on the land is included in the agreement.
During the first year of the transfer, the province will continue managing the tourism centre while the Lennox Island Development Corporation and Tourism P.E.I. develop a plan to expand the First Nation's tourism offerings.
All Crown land in this province belong to the Mi'kmaq, and it's good that it's being transferred back to us.— Lennox Island Chief Darlene Bernard
Bernard said the First Nation will probably hold meetings with the community to determine how it wants to develop the land.
"We've always thought of having some kind of like a gas station there maybe, or something to catch traffic going by," she said.
"I don't know if that's still going to be something, but you know its future leaders will have some land that they can develop after they engage the community."
Bernard said the First Nation needs land for housing as well as for economic development.
"We feel strongly that, you know, all Crown land in this province belong to the Mi'kmaq, and it's good that it's being transferred back to us," she said.
"It's a show of good faith, working with the First Nation."
With files from Jessica Doria-Brown