ARCHIVED - First Nations Land Management Signing Ceremony

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More and more First Nations are beginning to realize the economic development benefits that come from direct management of their reserve lands. On April 13, 2012, 18 First Nations from across Canada signed on to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, which allows First Nations to move beyond the Indian Act to assume control over their reserve land, resources and environment.

Transcript: First Nations Land Management Signing Ceremony

Voiceover narration:

On April 13, 2012, the Government of Canada and Chiefs of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre held a special signing ceremony at the Museum of Civilization marking the addition of 18 First Nations from across Canada to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.

This agreement enables First Nations to assume greater control over their lands, resources and environment leading to greater economic development opportunities for their communities.

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development:

On January 23, our Government announced the names of 18 First Nations that were selected to join the FNLM regime allowing them to assume greater control over their reserve lands and resources. More important, it gives them greater control over their future.

Voiceover narration:

The Government of Canada committed to reallocating $20 million over two years to allow more First Nations to opt into the Agreement. First Nations who sign on to the Framework Agreement are opting out of the land management laws of the Indian Act in order to develop their own laws related to land and resource development. The regime has had proven success in spurring economic development on First Nations lands.

Chief Robert Louie, Chair of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board:

The benefits of governmental decision-making, I think, are very, very clear. Economic self-sufficiency. We've shown through studies, the KPMG study for example, that hundreds of millions of dollars have been generated as investment onto First Nations

Chief Anne Louie, Williams Lake Indian Band, BC:

It represents almost freedom, getting into self-governance away from the Indian Act so that we can manage our own lands so that our people can become prosperous and develop economically.

Kevin Littlelight, Nation Administrator, Tsuu T'ina Nation, Alberta:

It is a welcomed opportunity for us to enjoy what the rest of Canada and Canadians enjoy, and that is the jurisdiction and freedom to promote themselves in an economic fashion.

Chief Robert Louie, Chair of the First Nations Lands Advisory Board:

Well, it represents a day in history that we can now give support and give congratulations to 18 First Nations who have been added to the signatory list. They're signatories now to the Framework Agreement. They have an opportunity to proceed with their land code development and I know these communities have been waiting a long time to be involved and so this is history in the making because they now have that opportunity and I'm so proud and so honoured that this is now taking place.