Golf course acquisition to expand Cheam land base, fuel eco-tourism vision of new leadership

The acquisition of the Bridal Falls Golf Course by Cheam First Nation on Feb. 12 marks “a significant milestone,” in the expansion of the nation’s land base.

Cheam Chief Darwin Douglas said they’ve been working on a strategic expansion to fuel economic development.

“Our focus is not only on economic prosperity but also on safeguarding our land and heritage,” Douglas said in a release Feb. 28. “This acquisition allows us to create intergenerational wealth for Cheam people and future generations, ensuring a sustainable and culturally vibrant legacy.”

Cheam aims to build businesses that “align with its core values” of environmental stewardship and cultural preservation.

A purchase offer was made for the golf course last year by the former Cheam leadership, but the sale did not go through.

Once Douglas was sworn in as the newly elected chief on Feb. 5, he started working on the sale as one of his first projects. They completed the acquisition process for the golf course and the land this month, and the sale closed Feb. 12.

“It’s a crucial step towards realizing Cheam’s vision for Indigenous cultural eco-tourism initiatives,” he said.

One of those initiatives is their ongoing partnership with the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project, which is pending regulatory approvals.

These newly acquired lands will play a pivotal role in raising awareness of Cheam and Stó:lō history and culture, Chief Douglas underlined, showcasing the natural beauty of the region while sharing the rich tapestry of Indigenous traditions.

“Cheam First Nation invites the community and stakeholders to join them on their transformative journey toward economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and cultural preservation.”

As part of the Pelólxw people, Xwchíyò:m (Cheam) is a major community within the broader S’ólh Nation. The Xwchíyò:m have lived in S’ólh Téméxw for thousands of years. They have never ceded or surrendered title to their lands, rights to their resources, or authority to make decisions within their territory.

READ MORE: Interpretive centre part of the gondola vision

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