Working for the Musqueam people: one heart, one mind

Musqueam Capital Corporation (MCC) was created in 2012 to replace the Musqueam Economic Development Department and is the economic development arm of the Musqueam Indian Band (MIB). MCC is responsible for the development of Musqueam’s lands, acts as an asset manager for Musqueam’s existing real estate holdings, and creates economic opportunity through business partnerships.

MCC’s mission is to build a sustainable community in Musqueam through successful economic development that delivers value today and for generations to come. MCC balances maximizing value with ensuring each project adheres to Musqueam traditional values and culture. Working with and for the Musqueam community, MCC abides by the overriding principle in the MIB Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) that we are of one heart, one mind.

Our Story

Community and culture on the banks of the Fraser

Musqueam are traditional hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people who have always moved throughout their traditional territory using the resources it provides for fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering. Today, the Musqueam are a strong, growing community of over 1,300 members, and live on a small portion of Musqueam traditional territory, known as the Musqueam Indian Reserve, located south of Marine Drive near the mouth of the Fraser River.

Musqueam’s wealth has traditionally been linked to spiritual closeness to the land. After many generations of hardship and struggle, Musqueam Indian Band has regained control of its destiny. The nation has established its ownership of traditional land holdings, as part of an ongoing process of reconciliation.

MCC is instrumental in the nation’s mission to unlock this value in its land, by carefully managing and developing assets to create sustainable economic benefits for future generations.

Heritage

A sustainable relationship with the land

sχʷəy̓em̓ (an ancient history)

The xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people have been here as long as there has been land to live upon. We have lived in the area of our present location for thousands of years, and our traditional territory occupies what is now Vancouver and surrounding areas. Some of our sχʷəy̓em̓ (ancient histories) describe the landscape as it was over eight thousand years ago.

The name Musqueam relates back to the flowering plant, məθkʷəy̓, which grows in the Fraser River estuary.  There is a sχʷəy̓em̓ that has been passed on from generation to generation that explains how we became known as the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm – People of the məθkʷəy̓ plant.

The old people spoke of a small lake called xʷməm̓qʷe:m (Camosun Bog) where the sʔi:ɬqəy̓ (double-headed serpent) originated. They were warned as youth to be cautious and not go near or they would surely die. This sʔi:ɬqəy̓ was so massive its winding path from the lake to the stal̕əw̓ (river) became the creek flowing through Musqueam to this day. Everything the serpent passed over died and from its droppings bloomed a new plant, the məθkʷəy̓.

For this reason, the people of long ago named that place xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam – place of the məθkʷəy̓).

It is Musqueam belief that the land and its people are indivisible. From this belief flows the nation’s vision for its economic development plan: One Heart, One Mind. The Musqueam Indian Band does not exploit the land – it honours the land. Because in Musqueam philosophy, the land exists for all time. Land exists as a memorial for ancestors and as a promise of security for future generations, as well as for the needs of the present.

Governance

One heart, one mind

Musqueam Capital Corporation is wholly owned by Musqueam Indian Band. The Board of Directors governs asset management and development activities in line with the nation’s comprehensive community plan: One Heart, One Mind. The board is responsible for overseeing the operations of businesses to ensure they are consistent with the strategic objectives of Chief and Council, bringing the plan’s vision to life.

There are nine directors consisting of the Chief and two elected Councillors, two Musqueam community members, and four non-Musqueam members with business and real estate expertise. Board members also form committees to govern the operations of Musqueam Capital. The Finance & Audit Committee review financial statements and business plans before seeking board approval. The Real Estate Business Advisory Committee reviews major business decisions for the company prior to Board approval. The Governance Committee ensures that Musqueam Capital has proper controls and policies in place to govern its day-to-day activities.

The Team