Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

January 23, 2012 08:30 ET

The Harper Government Announces 18 New Entrants to First Nations Land Management Regime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2012) - Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

The Harper Government announced that eighteen more First Nations will soon begin a process to opt out of the 34 land-related sections of the Indian Act and assume control over their reserve land and resources. The announcement was made today by the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Chief Robert Louie, Chair of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board (LAB) and Chief Austin Bear, Chair of the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc.

"The First Nations Land Management Regime has a proven track record of increasing economic development opportunities for First Nations," said Minister Duncan. "Together with First Nations organizations and communities, we are working to build a future in which First Nations are self-sufficient and prosperous, making their own decisions, managing their own affairs and making strong contributions to the country as a whole."

In Budget 2011, the Government of Canada committed to reallocating up to $20 million over two years to respond to the growing interest from First Nation leaders to participate in the First Nations Land Management (FNLM) Regime. These First Nations are the first new signatories to the Framework Agreement as part of this commitment. Today's announcement means that a total of 56 First Nations will soon be operating or developing their land codes under the Regime. First Nations operating with their own land codes have been successful in taking advantage of greater economic development opportunities at the speed of business.

New signatory First Nations will be able to manage their land, resources and environment according to their own land codes, laws and policies. The First Nations include: Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Aitchelitz, Beausoleil, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek, Buffalo Point, Haisla Nation, Long Plain, Mashteuiatsh, Membertou, Miawpukek, One Arrow, Shuswap, Skowkale, St. Mary's, Stz'uminus, Tsuu T'ina, Williams Lake Indian Band and Yakweakwioose.

"I am extremely excited and elated that 18 new First Nations who are well-deserving will be added as signatories to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management," said Chief Louie. "This is an investment in First Nations that will bring significant returns to these First Nations and to the entire Canadian economy. For First Nations to be recognized as governing jurisdictions with their own decision making powers is the desire of First Nation communities across this country."

Chief Austin Bear added: "Like Chief Louie, I also am extremely pleased that 18 additional First Nations will be added to the 58 current signatories to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management. The Lands Advisory Board of Directors, and the Resource Centre Board of Directors, greatly appreciate the commitment by Minister Duncan and his senior officials to working so diligently to make today's announcement a reality. Today, these communities will begin their historic step and will now be able to create and respond to economic development opportunities at the speed of business. This is the result of taking back control of their reserve lands and resources so that they are the decision-makers."

Improving economic opportunities for Aboriginal people is a priority for the Government of Canada. In June 2009, the Government of Canada released the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development (FFAED) which represents a fundamental change to how the federal government supports Aboriginal economic development. The FFAED emphasizes strengthening entrepreneurship, enhancing the value of Aboriginal assets, and forging new and effective partnerships to maximize the economic development potential of Aboriginal Canadians.

Backgrounder - First Nations Land Management Regime

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Jan O'Driscoll
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

    Lands Advisory Board/Resource Centre
    Julie Pellerin
    Advisor Economic Development and Communications