Cook’s Ferry Indian Band and Teck Highland Valley Copper Mine (HVC) have reached an agreement to support reconciliation through a historical transfer of four Cook’s Ferry reserve lands.

According to a press release, the Legacy Agreement was led by Teck Resources and Cook’s Ferry “mutual interest in facilitating reconciliation and in acknowledgement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The agreement intends to build positive legacies focused especially on the future return of the former reserve lands to the Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, as well as to develop a cultural centre for the community.

Matt Parrilla, general manager at Teck HVC, said that the agreement reflects the company’s commitment to support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

“We recognize the unique heritage and culture of the Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, their connection to the lands that constituted the reserve lands used for HVC, and our responsibility to respect the rights, cultures, knowledge and interests of Cook’s Ferry,” he said.

Cook’s Ferry Chief Christine Walkem said that the band is pleased in reaching an agreement of the surrender of their four reserve lands for HVC.

“The resulting Legacy Agreement will assist Cook’s Ferry to address the historic legacy of HVC on our way of life and provide a better future for our community.”