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2016: Kwikwetlem lays claim to Riverview, Colony Farm and parts of Port Coquitlam

The visioning process is complete and the future of Riverview Hospital looks likely to include some form of mixed-use development.
Drummer Mark Point at the opening of the Coquitlam Central station for the Evergreen Extension this month, with Kwikwetlem council looking on during the blessing ceremony.

The visioning process is complete and the future of Riverview Hospital looks likely to include some form of mixed-use development.

But the nature of any potential development may be affected by an ongoing civil lawsuit in BC Supreme Court.

In February the Kwikwetlem First Nation filed a claim for the 244-acre Riverview grounds, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital lands, Colony Farm Regional Park and part of Port Coquitlam's Gates Park, saying they had not been given an appropriate role in the historic development and the ongoing visioning process.

Kwikwetlem claimed the provincial government did not properly consult the local First Nation in planning Riverview's future and is demanding a consent-based decision-making process in any future redevelopment.

A statement released at the time stated the band plans to become an owner of the Riverview lands and lead future development on the site.

Their lawyer acknowledged the Kwikwetlem are hoping for a similar outcome to the Chilcotin decision in Canada's Supreme Court, which awarded aboriginal title over a large tract of land in the central Interior and requires the provincial and federal governments to gain consent from the Tsilhqot'in for any economic activity there.

The province disagrees, however, pointing out that an agreement with Kwikwetlem that details a consultation process on the future use of Riverview lands is already in place.

A statement of defence filed in July refuted many of the Kwikwetlem's claims, citing the B.C. treaty process as a more appropriate place to pursue any land claims but noting Kwikwetlem representatives did not attend a meeting to initiate that process in late 2000.

The province also asserted Kwikwetlem had not established the facts necessary to prove aboriginal title and that several other First Nations had also asserted claim on the Riverview lands and surrounding area.

BC Housing and the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation have also filed responses, which detailed several ways the agencies had consulted with Kwikwetlem, including a 2014 agreement to award all remediation contracts on the Riverview lands to Kwikwetlem-associated companies.

In July a 1950s-era building on the Riverview grounds was demolished to make way for two new mental healthcare buildings, which will replace three facilities in Burnaby.