Saturday, September 20, 2014
Text Size

Fraser Institute pushes for First Nations private property

First Nations say they never gave up their land rights.

By Angela Sterritt, CBC News

A new study says First Nations and provincial governments should explore private property regimes on Aboriginal lands.

The report called “Divergent Mineral Rights Regimes” was published by public policy think tank, the Fraser Institute today.

It asserts First Nations land claims are one of the strongest hindrances to mining investment in Canada.

“The Native land claim issue is important, it rose to the top in our study”, said Fraser Institute Senior director Kenneth Green.

“There is a large degree of uncertainty injected into the mining equation in Canada because of developments over First Nations and protected lands”, said Green.

The Fraser Institute report makes a number of recommendations including moving to a more American style approach and allowing private ownership of mineral rights.

But not all First Nations people think that’s a good idea.

John Rampanen is a Tla-o-qui-aht cross- cultural leader living in Ahousaht, B.C.

He and his family live on their traditional territory in Ahousaht, but over the years have faced threats from a mining company they say planned to disrupt a the mountain beside their home where they harvest foods and medicine.

“‘Providing’ First Nations with mineral rights would imply that Canada has the authority to determine the inherent rights of our peoples,” Rampanen said. “It is imperative that indigenous people know and believe that our rights are ours to define and exercise... Not the other way around”

He said he doesn’t agree that creating an equal playing field in terms of mineral rights is an ecologically viable solution.

“Rather, we should look at limiting the free-for-all approach that has been exercised with non-indigenous companies regarding minerals in traditional indigenous territories,” Rampanen said.

Jennifer Duncan is a First Nation lawyer who specializes in the negotiation of agreements for First Nations with industry and government. She works at a law firm in Vancouver.

She says generally speaking exploring a private property regime for mineral rights might not be a bad idea.

“I agree that privatizing mineral rights to recognize that First Nations on a collective basis own the mineral rights in their traditional territory...will reduce uncertainty and increase mining investment and thus it’s a good move for both Canadians and First Nations.” Duncan said.

But she doesn't agree with everything in the report.

“I don’t agree with the underlying position that the provinces would “sell” or “grant” rights to First Nations because this assumes that provinces have those rights to grant and this is exactly the position that creates uncertainty as First Nations argue that they have never given up those rights to the provinces, ”she said.

But the Fraser Institute's Kenneth Green says changing the First Nations property rights regime could open doors for all Canadians.

“If people want to have high standards of living, if they want to have a high quality health care, good retirement plans, we understand that the revenues from mining are an important part of that equation, both to government, to private including and society as a whole, so thats what motivates our research into resource development.”

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins