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Harper Government Opens Door to Greater First Nations Control Over Lands and Resources

Mar 25 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/25/13 -- Today the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, accompanied by Chief Robert Louie and Chief Austin Bear of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board, formally welcomed eight First Nation communities into the First Nations Land Management regime. These First Nation communities can now begin the process of freeing themselves of the 34 land-related sections of the Indian Act and assume greater control over their reserve land and resources.

"The FNLM regime is a powerful tool for First Nations seeking greater control over not just their land and resources, but their economic futures," said Minister Valcourt. "We will continue to work with interested First Nations across the country to help them realize the significant economic benefits - like jobs, investments and greater self-sufficiency - that come from participation in the FNLM regime."

The eight new signatories include: Kwantlen First Nation (British Columbia), Lil'wat First Nation - Mount Currie Indian Band (British Columbia), Neskonlith Indian Band (British Columbia), Shxw'ow'hamel First Nation (British Columbia), Brokenhead Ojibway Nation (Manitoba), Algonquins of Pikwakanagan (Ontario), Shawanaga First Nation (Ontario), and George Gordon First Nation (Saskatchewan).

"One out of every five First Nations in Canada is either a signatory to the Framework Agreement or on the 'waiting list' to become a signatory in order to pursue self-determination. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in economic development projects on Framework Agreement First Nations' lands", said Chief Robert Louie, Chairman of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board. "Canada is receiving a financial return ten times the dollars that the federal government is investing in the Framework Agreement process. What an incredible success story."

The Government of Canada is committing $3 million to fund the participation of these additional eight First Nations in the First Nations Land Management (FNLM) Regime. As new signatories to the Framework Agreement, these First Nations agree to develop their own land codes to manage reserve land, resources and environment outside the Indian Act. First Nations that sign onto the Framework Agreement, and opt into the First Nations Land Management Act, are better able to pursue and seize economic opportunities at the speed of business.

The addition of these eight new First Nations to the Framework Agreement brings the total number of new signatories this year to 26 and means that 69 First Nations will soon be operating or developing land codes under the FNLM Regime.

As well, Economic Action Plan 2013 commits $9 million over two years for the expansion of the FNLM Regime to create opportunities for more First Nations to promote greater economic development on reserves.

Improving economic opportunities for Aboriginal people is a priority for the Government of Canada. In June 2009, the Harper Government 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 people in Canada.

The Harper Government remains focused on four priorities, outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

First Nations Land Management Regime

Frequently Asked Questions - First Nations Land Management Regime

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Contacts:
Minister's Office
Jan O'Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
819-953-1160

Lands Advisory Board/Resource Centre
Graham Powell
Executive Director
613-858-4747





Source: Marketwire