Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour said the First Nation has no definite plans for Genoa Bay Farm, which it recently acquired. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes buys Genoa Bay Farm

First Nation wants to revert property back to reserve land

Cowichan Tribes has purchased the 350-acre Genoa Bay Farm, located near Duncan, for $10 million.

Chief William Seymour said the First Nation is still trying to determine what it wants to do with the property, which currently consists of farmland, forests and a beach front.

But he said there is a possibility that some sort of housing development could be constructed on a section of the property.

“We have no big plans yet and we may leave the land as it is for the time being,” Seymour said.

Seymour said the province and Ottawa agreed to pay for the land on behalf of Cowichan Tribes, and the investment by the senior levels of government will be recouped when the final treaty settlement with the First Nation is signed.


Seymour said one of the stipulations for Ottawa and Victoria to purchase the property on behalf of Cowichan Tribes is that it had to be available and have a willing seller.

“This land is important to us because it was part of our reserve, with people living on it, until the 1800s when the government expropriated the property and sold it,” he said.

“It’s possible that someone will remember who actually lived there at the time when it was still part of our reserve. It would be nice to reclaim some of our past history, as well as our land.”


Seymour said Genoa Bay Farm is currently in the jurisdiction of the Municipality of North Cowichan, but Cowichan Tribes will work towards having it returned to reserve land status.

“If we leave it as is, we would have to pay taxes to North Cowichan,” he said.

“As well, any plans we have for the property would have to go through North Cowichan, but if it becomes part of our reserve again, we can do pretty much what we want with it.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said he doesn’t believe that Cowichan Tribes would need to negotiate with the municipality if it wants to return the property to reserve land status.


“The Malahat Nation did a similar thing awhile ago with property that belonged to the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and the district didn’t have any say in it,” he said.

“It would be no great loss for North Cowichan. It’s agricultural land and there isn’t a lot of tax revenue from it for us. Returning it to reserve land would give Cowichan Tribes more flexibility and leeway with their plans for the property.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First Nations

Just Posted

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Missing mushroom picker found “alive and well” after three-day search in Ucluelet

“It’s always great to have a positive outcome like this.”

Access to the pristine northwest Vancouver Island beach at risk

Road to remote Side Bay beach north of Brooks Peninsula could be deactivated

Netflix, Warner Bros filming 10-part series in Colwood

Filming takes place now until March 2021

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Sheila McDonnell elected chair of Comox Valley Schools board

Sheila McDonnell was elected chair of the Comox Valley Schools board of… Continue reading

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read