The Prophet River First Nation has formally signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Fort St. John.
The 10-page document allows the PRFN to acquire addition-to-reserve (ATR) lands within the city’s boundaries.
“For our community and for our members who reside in Fort St. John, this a huge deal,” said chief Valerie Askoty Wednesday afternoon following the signing.
“I am excited about our economic future for our members that already live here but also the ones that will be moving here.”
The city has already signed an MOU with the Doig River First Nation for a section of property on the city’s west side across the Margaret Ma Murray School on 105th Avenue.
“It really does show there’s a willingness for First Nations to re-establish themselves here and to invest in our community,” said mayor Lori Ackerman.
“When you look at the leadership that the Prophet River chief and chiefs before her have shown in purchasing the land and wanting to build for their community inside of our community, it’s pretty significant.”
The first section of property, already chosen, is near the intersection of 100th Avenue and 86th Street.
“We’re looking at having office buildings, apartments…there’s so much opportunity here, so I am pretty excited,” said Askoty.
"We can now start moving forward for community involvement, economic prosperity, and to work with our other First Nations communities already in Fort St. John."
There are 288 members in the Prophet River First Nation with close to half living off-reserve; not all, however, live in Fort St. John.
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