Call for proposals opened to support the Additions to Reserve Policy redesign
March 20, 2023 — Ottawa, Ontario — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced that the Government of Canada has opened a call for proposals to support the redesign of the Additions to Reserve (ATR) Policy. Through this engagement process, the Government of Canada seeks to remove long-standing issues relating to the policy.
Land is essential for any community to build new infrastructure and support economic development. Adding land through the Additions to Reserve process is one approach that First Nations can take to accommodate growing communities, and it contributes to regional revitalization and economic development. The Additions to Reserve process also acts as a way to address past wrongs against First Nations.
Despite improvements over the years, First Nations continue to face barriers and delays when it comes to the setting apart of lands as reserves. To increase the size of a reserve or add additional land, First Nations must follow the Additions to Reserve Policy. First Nations and Indigenous organizations have highlighted that the current Additions to Reserve Policy and process is too slow and that the need for transformative change is long overdue. In response to this feedback, the Government of Canada is launching a call for proposals to seek direction from First Nations and Indigenous organizations in redesigning the Additions to Reserve Policy.
Through the call for proposals announced today, funding will be available for First Nation communities and Indigenous organizations to undertake engagement with their membership and communities. This will ensure that the Additions to Reserve Policy redesign reflects their priorities.
Working in partnership every step of the way, the Additions to Reserve Policy redesign is an important first step toward removing barriers so that First Nations communities can determine the path forward to a strong local economy and healthy community. Following engagement, Canada will continue to work closely with First Nations and Indigenous organizations to co-develop policy options.
Land is central to First Nations traditions, identity and prosperity. Returning lands to First Nations is critical to advancing reconciliation and self-determination. To align with the aspirations of First Nations communities, it is important that Indigenous solutions, ideas and lived experiences drive the co-development of policy options. In partnership with First Nations and Indigenous organizations, the Additions to Reserve policy redesign will promote economic and community growth, improve service delivery, support community well-being, provide First Nations with greater control over their traditional territories and cultural activities, and benefit the Canadian economy as a whole.
"The current Additions to Reserve Policy is broken, riddled with delay and doesn't deliver results for communities. Additions to Reserve are an important part of advancing reconciliation, which is why this policy redesign is a critical reform that needs to be driven by Indigenous Peoples. Supporting co-developed engagement is imperative so that the Additions to Reserve Policy redesign is informed by Indigenous solutions, ideas and lived experiences. Advancing reconciliation isn't only about the progress we make, it's also about making progress the right way, which means together, led by Indigenous Peoples."
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
"Access to land is at the core of a healthy and thriving community. Land allows for community development, infrastructure, including housing, opportunities for economic growth and restoration of culture and tradition. For too long, the process of adding land to reserve has been difficult and lengthy. Today, we announced a call for proposals to hear directly from partners on the important work to streamline the Additions to Reserve Policy. I encourage everyone interested in the Additions to Reserve process to consider this call for proposals, open until May 19."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
The call for funding proposals will be open until May 19, 2023.
Proposal-based funding will be available for fiscal year 2023–24 and will be allocated to applicants based on submitted work plans and funding availability.
Nearly 70 percent of the current active Additions to Reserve (ATR) inventory is comprised of negotiated Treaty Land Entitlements and specific claims agreements.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
ISC Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
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