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For Immediate Release


July 20, 2006

Ministry of Advanced Education

Office of the Premier




PRINCE GEORGE – The Province, with the support of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, has given 248 hectares of Crown land to the University of Northern British Columbia for research, teaching and use in Nordic sports, nearly doubling the size of the Prince George campus.


“The agreement that has been reached for the land next to the UNBC campus, within traditional Lheidli T’enneh territory, is unique in British Columbia,” Premier Gordon Campbell said today. “This is another example of embracing opportunities as we build a new relationship with First Nations across the province. When we work together, we can improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people – and for all British Columbians – so our communities can become stronger.”


The land is part of 618 hectares of Crown land that was originally earmarked for UNBC’s use, but was not officially part of the Prince George campus. In 2004, Lheidli T’enneh identified 370 hectares of this land as part of an area they wanted to include in their treaty settlement package. Through negotiations with Lheidli T’enneh, UNBC and the Province, boundaries were redrawn to accommodate Lheidli T’enneh interests. The remaining 248 hectares has now been transferred permanently to the university.


“The Lheidli T’enneh welcome the new agreement between the City of Prince George, the provincial government and UNBC,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dominic Frederick. “This extension represents an acknowledgement of the land that we hold and demonstrates the willingness of UNBC and the municipality to work together with government to find an arrangement that works for all of us.”


UNBC uses the land as an outdoor lab for teaching and research in areas vital to the North, such as ways to combat the mountain pine beetle. The area contains a greenway corridor and trail system, which will continue to be open to the public. The trail system will also be used for athletic training in connection with the new Northern Sport Centre.


“First, thank you to the Premier for transferring this land and nearly doubling UNBC’s land on Cranbrook Hill,” said UNBC president Don Cozzetto. “This area supports teaching and research, the trails provide recreation and training opportunities, and it marks an important development in our relationship with the Lheidli T’enneh.”


UNBC currently has about 3,600 students, almost 13 per cent of whom are Aboriginal. This year, the university will receive more than $38 million in operating funding from the Province. The transferred land is worth roughly $2.5 million.


“This transfer of Crown land will allow UNBC to engage in long-term planning that will benefit students and faculty,” said Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell. “These trails pass through diverse ecosystems and are critical to the continuation and expansion of teaching and research.”


The New Relationship the Province is building with First Nations is aimed at ensuring Aboriginal people share in the economic and social development of British Columbia.


“We’ve been working closely with UNBC, the government and the Lheidli T’enneh on land use planning to ensure a result that benefits all of us,” said Prince George Mayor Colin Kinsley. “The land transfer to UNBC recognizes the importance of the Greenway Trail system to the City of Prince George and the benefits of a cooperative model for the relationship between the city and the Lheidli T’enneh.”






Mike Morton

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

250 213-8218

Paul Woolley

Communications Director

Ministry of Advanced Education

250 952-6508

250 213-1171 (cell)


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