10/01/2013 11:10 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Musqueam Marpole Midden, Burial Site Protected In Deal With Developer


VANCOUVER - A Vancouver-area First Nation says an ancient burial site and midden has been protected thanks to a real-estate deal with a local developer.

The Musqueam say Century Group has agreed to sell the band a nearly one-hectare chunk of land known as the Marpole village site.

The City of Vancouver had approved a multi-family residential project for the site in early 2012, but pre-construction archaeological work uncovered what the band says were ancestral remains.

The Musqueam say the project would have destroyed a sacred burial ground and one of the largest pre-contact middens in Western Canada.

More than 18 months of negotiations between the Musqueam, developer, and the provincial government led up to the sale.

Chief Wayne Sparrow says the agreement shows First Nations and private property owners can work together and understand each other's interests.

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