However, Grant-John and those who practice Indigenous law say the agreement is unlikely to impact the complexity of privatizing the airport. Point said seniors have emphasized the importance of this type of community during consultations on how to implement the agreement. Point, a band member himself, believes that the agreement and the opportunities it offers are a great example of what can happen when a large company and an Indigenous community work together. Learn more as you watch the official signatory of the agreement speak more directly to Musqueam Councillor Wendy Grant-John about the uncertainty around the corner if negotiations on the agreement were to break down. John is xwməθkwəy̓əm or Musqueam, which means people of the məθkwəy̓ plant. She is a member of the Band Government Council and helped negotiate the YVR agreement. For a long time, Musqueam was excluded from the economic development of the city, which was built on their territory without permission – which is why the agreement means so much to John. However, self-government talks are a separate but parallel strategy to partnership agreements in the Musqueam`s attempt to improve economic opportunities for band members. “The friendship between the Musqueam Indian Band and YVR is extremely important to our people,” said Chief Wayne Sparrow. “YVR is located on our traditional land and we all have a positive relationship. This agreement provides Musqueam with significant educational and employment opportunities at YVR, a voice in future development, environmental improvements and restoration, and financial support that will allow our employees to further expand our economic base and invest in our community.” On June 21, 2017, we jointly signed the Sustainability and Friendship Agreement between the Musqueam Indian Band and YVR Airport.
It is a 30-year agreement based on friendship and respect to achieve a sustainable and mutually beneficial future for our community. The agreement also sets out the importance of protecting the lands and waters around Sea Island, which lies directly across the river from the band`s main reserve in south Vancouver. .