There are new signs along Mill Bay Road by the beach on property owned by the Malahat First Nation reminding visitors they are on native land.
The two signs, situated about 400 metres apart on the section of the road bordering Malahat Beach, state that there is no unauthorized access allowed, and only vehicles belonging to visitors of the First Nation are permitted to park there.
Mike Biever, the Malahat First Nation’s housing manager and director of operations and maintenance, said the signs are not meant to keep people who just want to visit the beach for a short period from parking along the roadway.
He said the problem the First Nation is experiencing is mostly in the summertime when people show up in RVs, buses and mobile homes and park there for days at a time.
“Many are there for four and five days and then dump their raw sewage into the ocean,” Biever said.
“We think many believe that this is provincial property, and we want them to be aware that it’s land that belongs to the Malahat First Nation.”
Biever said the First Nation has no problems with people parking on the side of the road to take advantage of the beach and go for walks and picnics; they just can’t park there for days on end.
Biever said the signs were placed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and larger signs are to be placed at each end of the First Nation explaining to people driving through what lands are designated as belonging to the First Nation.
He said bear-proof garbage containers will also be placed on the beach to give visitors a place to dispose of their rubbish.
“As well, we’ve placed boulders at the entrance to an old log-sorting operation in the area to dissuade squatters and others from camping down there,” Biever said.
“We’ve had problems with that as well in the past.”