OTTAWA, March 3, 2014
Nineteen First Nations from across Canada sign onto the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management and begin development of their own land codes
OTTAWA, March 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Today the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, accompanied by Chief Robert Louie of the First Nations Land Advisory Board and Chief Austin Bear of the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc. welcomed 19 more First Nations into the First Nations Land Management Regime. By signing the Framework Agreement, these First Nation communities can now begin the process of opting out of 34 land-related sections of the Indian Act and assume greater control over their reserve land and resources.
Economic Action Plan 2013 called for the expansion of the First Nations Land Management Regime to create opportunities for more First Nations to promote greater economic development on reserves. Following a December 2013 signing ceremony for nine other First Nations, the adhesion of these 19 communities ensures that all 28 new entrants to the Regime announced in September 2013 can begin the process to develop their own land codes.
•The FNLM regime enables First Nations to manage their own land, resources and environment according to their own land codes, laws and policies.
•The regime also helps First Nations get out from under 34 land-related limitations of the Indian Act in order to take control of their land and resources.
•The 19 First Nation communities that signed onto the Framework Agreement today are:
◦New Brunswick: Madawaska Maliseet
◦Quebec: Abénakis de Wôlinak
◦Ontario: Long Lake, M'Chigeeng, Magnetawan
◦Manitoba: Nisichawayasihk Nelson House, Norway House, Sagkeeng (Fort Alexander)
◦Saskatchewan: English River, Yellow Quill
◦British Columbia: ?akisq'nuk, Homalco, K'omoks, Lower Nicola, Malahat, Metlakatla, Nak'azdli, Tahltan, and Soowahlie.
•Once these communities have developed their own land codes, they will need to get them approved by their membership through communities ratification votes in order to become operational under the FNLM Regime. Once approved, these communities will join the 36 other First Nation communities currently operating under their own land codes.
"The First Nations Land Management Regime is a proven and successful tool of economic development and reconciliation. We will continue to work with interested First Nations like those represented here today to create jobs and economic opportunities, and also to achieve reconciliation between Canada and First Nations, through initiatives like the FNLM Regime."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"I am honoured to welcome the 19 signatory First Nations today. A very prosperous future awaits them. Just recently, the international firm KPMG completed a study on the benefits of the Framework Agreement for all the participating First Nations. Investments on reserve now are estimated at $270 million and thousands of on-reserve jobs are being created for both members and non-members. Our First Nations are forging new partnerships with businesses, investors, bankers as well as with provincial and municipal governments. Land management activities are being completed at the speed of business, which is significantly faster than under the Indian Act. Business decisions are now governed by the First Nations themselves. We are on the verge of a new era of prosperity for our communities, and I am elated that 19 additional First Nations today will be able to participate."
Chief Robert Louie
Chair,First Nations Land Advisory Board
"The Framework Agreement already has proven that it greatly improves the quality of life for our signatory communities. The Framework Agreement promotes self-sufficiency, Community pride, and protects our traditional values. First Nation leaders now are able to govern lands and resources to achieve the overall vision of their communities. The result is a strengthening of Aboriginal culture and a renewed respect for our role as stewards of the land. I am proud to see 19 new signatories today begin the journey to greater autonomy. I thank Canada and Minister Valcourt for their continued support. Chief Louie and I will continue to work diligently in order for all First Nations to be offered this opportunity to opt out of the Indian Act and resume jurisdiction over their reserve lands and resources."
Chief Austin Bear
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc.
"The Magnetawan First Nation is very pleased to be joining the First Nations Land Management Regime. The Magnetawan First Nation sees this as an important first step in the direction of self-government by providing self-determination to manage our lands more effectively and efficiently than under Indian Act. This Regime provides greater opportunity to be more competitive on a number of important economic development projects in our community."
Chief William Diabo, Magnetawan First Nation
"Taking control of land management is a vital step for the Akisqnuk First Nation to assert control over our reserve lands. Development and ratification of a land code will allow the First Nation and Akisqnukniks that live on reserve to respond to opportunities on our own terms and at the speed of business. These important steps will further our progress toward self-government and allow us to get out from under Aboriginal Affairs' and the Indian Act's control of Akisqnuk First Nation Land.
It is hoped and expected that this radical change will enable prosperity on the Akisqnuk First Nation that is unprecedented since the reserve was created in 1886 -- almost 130 years ago."
Chief Lorne Shovar, Akisqnuk First Nation
LONGMONT, Colo., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced it has received a $1.2 million grant for a three-year project that aims to build the sustainability and vibrancy of Native American organizations that are specifically targeting Native artists and Native cultural institutions.
Under the project, First Nations expects to award between 18 and 55 grants ranging from $500 to $30,000 each over the next three years. The grants will help develop the effectiveness and capacity of reservation-based and select non-reservation-based Native museums, cultural centers, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), nonprofit organizations, tribal programs and Native chambers of commerce that have program initiatives in place to support Native art and Native artists. There also will be additional grants, scholarships and travel stipends awarded for professional development opportunities, conferences and related convenings.
The grant, awarded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, will allow First Nations to use its deep and well-known capacity-building expertise within Indian Country, specifically with projects in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
"We are sincerely thankful for this grant, of course, but we are even more excited about the potential this project holds to give a much-needed boost to Native arts and cultural entities, the people who lead and manage them, and to the broad community of Native artists themselves," said Michael E. Roberts, First Nations president. "Through direct grants and our technical assistance and training, we hope to significantly increase their management effectiveness and, thus, the long-term sustainability, stability and economic impact of these entities and individuals so they can continue to carry out their essential work with Native artists. These organizations will assist in increasing market access, access to capital, and overall market readiness for Native artists and their goods. We believe the continuing development of Native art is an important component of Native community economic development and the retention of Native cultures."
Raymond Foxworth, First Nations Senior Program Officer and Deputy Director of Development
(303) 774-7836 x207
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
(303) 774-7836 x213