New amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act receive Royal Assent
June 20, 2023 — Ottawa, Ontario — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, C.T. (Manny) Jules, Chief Commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission; Harold Calla, Executive Chair of the First Nations Financial Management Board; Ernie Daniels, President and CEO of the First Nations Finance Authority; Allan Claxton, Chair of the First Nations Infrastructure Institute Development Board; and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced that new amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act received Royal Assent on June 20, 2023.
The co-developed amendments to the optional legislation address some of the barriers to First Nations’ economic development by providing First Nations communities with increased supports and tools to strengthen their financial management systems and capacity, generate revenues from property taxation to enhance the delivery of services in their communities, and access long-term financing to build community and economic infrastructure.
The new Act supports Indigenous self-determination and economic reconciliation by expanding the mandates of two First Nations-led institutions, the First Nations Tax Commission and the First Nations Financial Management Board, to reflect their evolving purposes. It also establishes the First Nations Infrastructure Institute (FNII) as a First Nations-led organization that will support economic development by providing the skills and processes necessary to ensure that First Nations communities and Indigenous organizations can efficiently plan, procure, own, manage, and assume greater jurisdiction over infrastructure assets on their lands.
The new amendments support First Nations-led processes for building good governance and financial management practices, which promote socio-economic development and advance economic reconciliation in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The First Nations-led institutions under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act and the Government of Canada will continue to work in collaboration to address the needs and priorities of First Nations to strengthen their communities and build their economies.
“Royal Assent for Bill C-45 is a major step forward in our journey to achieve practical economic reconciliation between First Nations and Canada. I am pleased to see these important amendments to the FMA, which include the creation of the First Nations Infrastructure Institute and the expansion of the institutional support necessary for interested First Nations to renew their jurisdictions and economies. The FMA has been the most successful First Nation-led legislation in Canadian history. With these changes, the number of First Nation participants—currently more than half of all First Nations in Canada use the optional FMA—is only going to continue to grow.”
C.T. (Manny) Jules
Chief Commissioner, First Nations Tax Commission
“The FMA amendments respond to the needs of First Nations, and we’re pleased to see them become law in Canada. They answer calls for infrastructure development tools and mean the FMB can now offer our optional financial management and administrative governance supports to Tribal Councils, Modern Treaty Nations, Self-governing Groups, and Indigenous not-for-profit organizations. We thank parliamentarians across party lines for their timely passage of Bill C-45.”
Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board
“FNFA strongly supports Bill C-45 as it brings significant, positive change for First Nations and Indigenous governments across Canada. For instance, these FNFMA amendments will expand the definition of ‘borrowing member’ in anticipation of eligibility being extended to Indigenous governments and NPOs, though other regulations will still be required. These important entities provide essential economic and social services to First Nations. FNFA looks forward to working with our sister institutions to support economic reconciliation and wealth management.”
President and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority
“I welcome Royal Assent for Bill C-45, which establishes the First Nations Infrastructure Institute. We know that infrastructure needs are great across Canada, and we believe working with FNII will support First Nations and Indigenous groups to advance their projects. We look forward to working with First Nations and Indigenous groups choosing to exercise their right to self-determination by asserting more control over their infrastructure.”
Chair, First Nations Infrastructure Institute Development Board
“These amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act will support Indigenous communities to advance self-determination and socio-economic development. Thank you to the First Nations Tax Commission, First Nations Financial Management Board, First Nations Finance Authority, and the First Nations Infrastructure Institute Development Board for their work in moving this legislation forward. We will continue to work closely with First Nation partners to ensure their views and priorities are properly reflected in the Act.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
“Complementing the breakthrough in Indigenous rights recognition through UNDRIP, Bill C-45 supports financial pathways to greater self-determination, prosperity, and well-being for many First Nations. This bill will help communities build and grow their tax base; raise revenue for services; regulate services; continue to advance the business development agenda; and develop infrastructure to improve quality of life and support commercial opportunities. This legislation is cause for optimism, as our country works towards economic reconciliation and Indigenous Peoples freely pursue their economic, social and cultural rights.”
The Honourable Marty Klyne
Royal Assent is granted by a representative of the Crown to approve a bill passed by the House of Commons and the Senate, making it into an Act of Parliament. Royal Assent is, therefore, the last stage in the legislative process and assembles the three constituent entities of Parliament (Crown, Senate, House of Commons).
The First Nations Fiscal Management Act first received Royal Assent on March 23, 2005, and came into force on April 1, 2006.
The co-developed new amendments to the Act were introduced in Parliament on March 23, 2023, and received Royal Assent on June 20, 2023.
The First Nations Fiscal Management Act is optional legislation that provides First Nations governments with authority over financial management, property taxation and local revenues, and financing for infrastructure and economic development.
Since the adoption of the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, 348 First Nations have chosen to participate under the Act.
For more information, media may contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations:
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
First Nations Tax Commission
Senior Communications Manager
First Nations Financial Management Board
First Nations Finance Authority
250-768-5253 / 1-866-575-3632
First Nations Infrastructure Institute Technical Team
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