BRITISH COLUMBIA

Grace Islet House To Be Taken Down Under Elders' Guidance

08/10/2015 06:46 EDT | Updated 08/10/2016 05:59 EDT
SALT SPRING ISLAND, B.C. — Crews will soon deconstruct a partially built home on a sacred burial site off Salt Spring Island, B.C., after a multimillion-dollar deal with the landowner.

Construction on a Grace Islet house started last fall after the landowner got the necessary permits, but First Nations raised concerns about the historical significance of the area.

Work stopped last December, and the land was transferred to the Nature Conservancy of Canada after the B.C. government paid the landowner $5.45 million.

The nature conservancy's regional vice-president Linda Hannah says the house was at the framing stage when the order to stop work was issued.

She says cultural workers will be at the site to ensure that 16 cairns beneath the foundation are not disturbed.

Hannah says elders from eight First Nations will provide guidance on the deconstruction process in an area known for its 200-year-old juniper, Garry oak and Douglas-fir trees.

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Grace Islet, B.C.