BC Hydro and Pacheedaht First Nation celebrate agreement over purchase of origin site diitiida, Jordan River lands
VANCOUVER — The Pacheedaht First Nation has reached an agreement with BC Hydro to reacquire 28 hectares, a portion of traditional lands, at diitiida, now known as Jordan River.
The sale agreement comes after a 2014 BC Hydro study that indicated an extreme seismic event at the Jordan River could damage its dam and put downstream homes and people at high risk. Since then, BC Hydro has acquired at-risk properties and rezoned them to help ensure public safety in the event of a major earthquake.
"Public safety is a top priority at BC Hydro," said Chris O'Riley, President and Chief Operating Officer, BC Hydro. "Since the properties have been purchased and rezoned to restrict residential use and development, the level of public risk has decreased. We're also pleased to support the Pacheedaht First Nation with their plans in the area."
Diitiida is the origin site for the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht First Nations. The area was once rich with an abundance of natural resources. The Pacheedaht continues to restore and manage these resources through various rehabilitation programs, including remediation efforts in the area. In addition, the First Nation is looking to develop economic growth by offering tourism initiatives such as surf shops, canoe rentals, an interpretive centre and restaurants.
"Pacheedaht has a lot to celebrate, this is our elders dream to reclaim these lands," said Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht First Nation. "The repatriation of diitiida is a historic event for Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Makah, and a step forward towards reconciliation. BC Hydro was instrumental, honourable and diligent throughout the process to transfer these lands."
Leaders from the Pacheedaht First Nation will celebrate the land deal with BC Hydro on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Queesto Forestry Office in Jordan River.
BC Hydro Media Relations