Malahat Nation and Bamberton Historical Society Work Together

Malahat Nation and Bamberton Historical Society continue to work cooperatively during transition of land ownership of Bamberton lands
(Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC) – Malahat Nation and the Bamberton Historical Society (BHS) continue to work together in the transition resulting from the Malahat Nation acquisition of the Bamberton Lands in July 2015.
The Malahat Nation and BHS are working together cooperatively to enable the BHS to complete their previously scheduled tour schedule at the property. The BHS had many undocumented occupancy arrangements and obligations with the previous owners, the extent to which was previously unknown to the Malahat Nation. However, the use of the facilities and lands and any continuing obligations to the BHS were not transferable to the Malahat Nation upon the sale. The current and longer-term industrial uses of the site will not permit the continued use of the facilities by the BHS. Malahat Nation has agreed to a transitional schedule for the BHS to organize and facilitate their transition plan to new facilities offsite.
On Aug. 4, 2015 the Bamberton Historical Society and Malahat First Nation met to discuss the transition of the BHS from the Bamberton site. Maureen Alexander, the president of the BHS, stated: “We are pleased with the outcome of the meeting and with the cooperation of the Malahat First Nation in providing us with short term storage while we locate a permanent home for the Society and its archives and artifacts.”
Chief David Harry of the Malahat First Nation: “Malahat is happy to work with Bamberton Historical Society during this transition and provide the necessary supports needed. Our program at Bamberton will be aggressive and accelerated – it is our intent to invest in the development of growing the Bamberton Industrial complex for the benefit of Malahat Nation and its members. Along the way, as we have always stated, we will be good business neighbors and our support of the Society during this transition is no exception.”
The Malahat Nation is a 303-member nation located on the western shore of Saanich Inlet, south of Mill Bay. The Nation is part of the Te’mexw Treaty Association, which on April 9, 2015, signed an Agreement-in-Principle with Canada and British Columbia, one of the final steps in the transition to self-government.
The Bamberton Industrial Lands are the Traditional Territory of the Malahat Nation. The recent history of industrial use dates back to 1912 with the development of the cement plant, which operated until 1980. Since that time, the property has been the subject of several residential master planned community development proposals.
There is an existing fully occupied marine industrial facility with several industrial and construction focused tenants operating at the site, providing employment for nearly 100 people. In 2012, the existing Heavy Industrial zoning designated lands were expanded with the addition of several hundred acres of new light industrial and commercially zoned lands. This industrial/commercial focus will continue to grow with new opportunities moving forward.
The Bamberton Historical Society was initially created in partnership with the former landowner, and has provided an invaluable service in documenting and preserving the industrial history of the site spanning over 100 years.  It is the sincere desire of the Malahat Nation to see the BHS survive and thrive in a new offsite location.
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