10/01/2014 07:14 EDT | Updated 12/01/2014 05:59 EST

Vancouver's Jericho Lands Sold To B.C. First Nations, Crown Corporation Maps
VANCOUVER - Three British Columbia First Nations have agreed to a partnership deal with a federal government body over three valuable parcels of land in Metro Vancouver.

The agreement was signed Wednesday between the Musqueam, Squamish and the Tsleil-Wauthuth Nations and the Canada Lands Company, an arms-length Crown corporation that reports to Parliament.

The joint venture gives 50 per cent ownership to the aboriginal groups and half will be held by Canada Lands.

The properties include a 21-hectare parcel in Vancouver's Point Grey area that was once owned by the Department of National Defence, an 8.5 hectare lot on Heather Street on Vancouver's west side, and two hectares on Marine Drive in West Vancouver.

The properties sold for market values of $237 million for Jericho, more than $59 million for Heather Street, and $11 million for Marine Drive, and a news release from Canada Lands says First Nations paid for a portion of each.

The partners will launch a series of studies about what can be done with the land and then work with the City of Vancouver and District of West Vancouver on plans.

Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas said in a news release that the agreement was a new beginning for her people.

"We will seek to create substantial and sustained economic and social benefits for our nation members, local communities, and country as a whole," she said.

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