The Huron-Wendat First Nation’s plan to expand its reserve in Quebec City has been approved by the municipality, meaning it can begin the arduous process of buying two large lots next to its current territory.
At 59 hectares, the Huron-Wendat reserve of Wendake, within the boundaries of the provincial capital, is tiny in comparison with many aboriginal territories.
“Many people tease me. They say, ‘Konrad, your reserve is so small I could throw a rock across,’ ” Konrad Sioui, grand chief of the Huron-Wendat, said Friday in a CBC interview.
“So it won’t be hard to double the size of the reserve. But we want to prepare for the next 40, 50 years, making sure that the next generation will have room to build a house and will also be able to have an interesting industrial and commercial site to do partnerships and to do commerce.”
Wendake’s population is about 3,000, but Sioui said forecasts call for 1,600 new residents within 10 years.
The two parcels of land to be purchased lie east of the reserve and are vacant. In addition to industrial and commercial space, Sioui said, the new areas will likely be used for an arena complex and, eventually, houses.
But it will take at least a year for the Huron-Wendat First Nation to acquire the land because of the complicated bureaucratic process of land and money transfers needed.
The Huron-Wendat are funding the nearly $10-million purchase from an $11.7-million settlement with the federal government in the 1990s.
Interesting news. As one of the comments say, it’s ironic that Aboriginal people have to buy back land that was more than likely stolen in the first place.