Royal Roads University and Songhees Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding as the Department of National Defence looks towards the disposition of the sprawling Colwood property. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Royal Roads University and Songhees Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding as the Department of National Defence looks towards the disposition of the sprawling Colwood property. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Royal Roads University and Songhees Nation sign pact

Agreement signifies the parties’ desire to work together as DND explores the disposition of RRU land

  • May. 5, 2017 10:15 a.m.

Following a similar agreement with the City of Colwood in March, Songhees Nation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Royal Roads University to signal a co-operation between the two parties with regards to the property.

Late last year, it was disclosed that the Department of National Defence had declared the Hatley Park land to be surplus and that it was looking to dispose of it. Songhees and Esquimalt Nations expressed interest in the property as part of their historical territory and have said they would pursue “sensible” development.

Throughout the process, the future of Royal Roads University has been secure.

Songhees initiated this latest agreement.

“Through this MOU we welcome the opportunity to work with Royal Roads University and to align our shared values and priorities on these important lands that are part of our ancestral heritage,” said Ron Sam, Chief of Songhees Nation in a statement. “There is a growing bond between our Nation and Royal Roads University and we have an opportunity to create something very special by fostering a greater understanding of each other’s goals.”

Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon added: “The MOU recognizes the university’s interest in continuing to operate on the campus lands and our ongoing commitment to working collaboratively with Songhees and other First Nations, now and in the future.”

Cahoon says Songhees and Royal Roads University will co-operate on gathering and sharing information about the history, boundaries, ecology and other attributes and challenges of the entire Royal Roads property. The parties will also work together to define the boundaries of the campus lands needed for the university’s continued and successful operation and they will explore options for the campus lands’ legal structure, such as fee simple ownership.

The disposition process involving DND and First Nations groups is ongoing.

In January, Songhees lawyer Robert Janes told the Gazette that he expects they will be “deep into the treaty process” within a year.

Twitter: @joelgazette

*An earlier verison of this story had Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon identified as Albert Cahoon.

Royal Roads University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Saanich council approves of a five-story multi-family development at 300 Gorge Road West and 2900 Tillicum Road. (Rendering via Alan Lowe Architect Inc.)
Saanich approves five-story, mixed-use development for Tillicum area

Plans include 53 residential units, three commercial units at Tillicum Road, Gorge Road West

Coun. Niall Paltiel of Central Saanich has filed a notice of motion directing staff to work with the WSANEC leadership council to develop a program leading toward the “gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names for key collector and arterial roads”(Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich councillor wants road signs to use WSANEC names

Coun. Niall Paltiel proposes ‘gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names’ for key roads

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read