Treaties will represent a fundamental change in the fiscal relationship between the federal government and First Nations. Under treaty, First Nations will be provided opportunities for increased autonomy and self-reliance.
Treaties will change the fiscal relationship by strengthening the fiscal accountability of First Nation governments. The First Nation government will be fully accountable to its members for expenditure decisions. The First Nation government will also be accountable to governments for financial transfers it receives, so that the government that provides the funding can ensure that public funds were used for their intended purposes.
Under a treaty, the First Nation will be responsible for delivering agreed-upon programs and services reasonably comparable to similar programs and services available in that part of the province. The fiscal financing agreement provides an annual transfer to support program and service delivery in areas such as health, social, education and local services. The arrangement ensures that the First Nation will have the flexibility to direct spending on programs to meet the unique needs and aspirations of its citizens.
One of the goals of a treaty is to reduce the First Nation's reliance on government funding over time. The First Nation will contribute to funding its own expenditures from its own sources of revenue. As the First Nation's ability to generate its own revenue increases, it will make an increasing contribution to the costs of programs and services it delivers to its citizens. These contributions will continue to be supplemented by annual transfers.
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