“He said ‘I’m 86 years old and I can’t look after the land anymore,’ and I want to give it to your people,” Belleau said. “He said ‘it was always your land, I’m giving it back to the people. I thought ‘wow’.”

 In a surprise move a Cariboo rancher has donated his land to Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake) First Nation after being a neighbour of the community for more than 50 years.

Kenneth Linde, 86, bought the land in 1961 and is giving 50 per cent of 640 acres, the woodlot and the water rights to Esk’etemc. Grand Chief Ed John described Linde’s gesture as a “remarkable act of reconciliation.”

“It’s significant because now there’s dialogue in this country about reconciliation and rather than talking about it he is doing something about it,” John said.

Chief Charlene Belleau announced Linde’s gift during a declaration of Esk’etemc title and rights ceremony and celebration held Monday, May 8 in the community at the Sxoxomic Gymnasium.

Belleau said Linde had called the band office asking her to meet him at his ranch and surprised her with his offer. As he stood there draped in a blanket presented to him by the community, the community honoured him with a song, hugs and handshakes.

“Look after the waters on the land,” Linde told the crowd.

Hundreds of people attended the celebration, which began with a traditional pipe ceremony. Many were dressed in regalia and holding ceremonial staffs or feathers.

The celebration and ceremony showed how the community is tying itself back to the land in a significant way, Grand Chief Ed John said.

“The churches and governments for a long time tried to disconnect us from our land, languages and culture,” John said.

“Today I see the effort of the people here to reorganize themselves and rethink according to their teachings and values, connecting back to each other as families, community and connecting back to their songs and drums and more importantly to the land.”

Responses to "Rancher gifts land to First Nation during title and rights ceremony"

  1. Mr. Linde, you are one amazing man. Your gift of land to the Esk'etemc First Nation is a well thought out future for the stewardship of precious land.

  2. Unknown says:

    If the majority of "whites" donnated their land back to natives upon their death. The Gov. would be hard put wouldn't it?

  3. Anonymous says:

    A very beautiful man...i would guess his relationship with the people was full of the Creator's beauty

  4. John Dixon says:

    I can only hope this will start a trend of reconciliation, maybe it would go viral. (fingers crossed)

  5. RB says:


  6. Mr Linde is a wonderful advocate for good white men!! White people. A truly wonderful gift to The Esk'etemc First Nation who will take care of the land and the water.

  7. Joe says:

    Such things are made from love and respect. Honor to Mr. Linde for his generous heart and thoughtful spirit. HO!

  8. Unknown says:

    What a beautiful thing! Back where the land belongs, and my heart sings.

  9. Jim Hise says:

    A terrific legacy has been established....simply wonderful.

  10. Ge_nny says:

    Mitakiya oysin....Your humbleness and your great deed will start a ripple save mother earth....and teach others how to give instead of take take take...

  11. Anonymous says:

    In this time of division and hate, you have shown yourself to be a leader among us...showing us to walk in the way of the Lord. What an extraordinary gift to the original people of America who have had so much taken from them. Bless you, sir.

  12. Fae says:

    Where is this located?

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Unknown says:

    It's in British Columbia:

  15. Most precious and wiseest gift of all.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Spiritual blessings of healing, love and light....a fabulous event of LOVE that conquers HATE.....To acknowledge the First Nation Peoples and their respectful connection to Earth Mother just shows how one person can make a difference to right the wrong.....We pray that others will follow suit....Kia kaha koutou te whanau tuatahi o Amerika me to ratou hoa....(Be strong the First Nation people of Amerika with your dear friend)....Arohanui (Much love)..The Indigenous Maori from Aotearoa (New Zealand)...

  17. May the creator smile upon that man and his family, he has realized that we are all one family.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Blessings and honor to Kenneth Linde for returning this land to the Esk'etemec First Nation. Hopefully, others will follow his lead and return the land to the native people throughout the world.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth Linde has recognized this land belongs to the Esk'etemec First Nation by rightfully returning it to them. A blessed man !

  20. Unknown says:

    a man of value is to be honored

  21. Returning land to our indigenous people is a wonderful thing and a gesture of love and respect by Mr. Linde. Hopefully others will have the same integrity toward our native ancestors and their generations that have so long abused killed and mistreated. They are our sacred heritage. A'HO

  22. Unknown says:

    Awsome, nice to see a Man with the haert on the right place !!!!!

  23. Mocha says:

    He has not donnated the land. As he himself said, he is giving it back.

  24. This is a truly wonderful and amazing gesture, returning what was rightfully theirs. Why do we, as white people, always think our ways are the only ways? Bless you, Mr Linde. You are a remarkable example.

  25. Bryan says:

    All I can say is its about time the people give back land to them that our government took from them.

  26. NancyB says:

    I have ultimate respect for you! What a delightfully wonderful thing to have discovered that you've done this. Many thanks, Sir!

  27. CeCe says:

    Una` Me is Happy and Greatful that he has Returned The Land Back to Our People, this makes me very Happy

  28. StormGazr says:

    So glad to see the land returning to who it REALLY belongs to! Bless you Mr. Linde!

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