Ottawa, Ontario (January 23, 2012) – The Harper Government today announced that Long Plain and Buffalo Point First Nations from Manitoba will soon begin a process to opt out of the 34 land-related sections of the Indian Act and assume greater control over their reserve land and resources, announced the Honourable Vic Toews, Member of Parliament for Provencher and Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
"I would like to congratulate these two First Nations from Manitoba on being selected to join the First Nations Land Management Regime," said Minister Toews. "As a result of this announcement, these First Nations will be able to build their land management capacity, leading to greater self-sufficiency and prosperity."
"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."
"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 Robert Louie, Chair of the Lands Advisory Board and the Chief of Westbank First Nation. "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."
Today's announcement is a result of a commitment made 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 Regime.
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.
For additional information please visit the Lands Advisory Board website .
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