March 3, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Today the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, accompanied by Chief Robert Louie of the First Nations Land Advisory Board and Chief Austin Bear of the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc. welcomed 19 more First Nations into the First Nations Land Management Regime. By signing the Framework Agreement, these First Nation communities can now begin the process of opting out of 34 land-related sections of the Indian Act and assume greater control over their reserve land and resources.
Economic Action Plan 2013 called for the expansion of the First Nations Land Management Regime to create opportunities for more First Nations to promote greater economic development on reserves. Following a December 2013 signing ceremony for nine other First Nations, the adhesion of these 19 communities ensures that all 28 new entrants to the Regime announced in September 2013 can begin the process to develop their own land codes.
"I am honoured to welcome the 19 signatory First Nations today. A very prosperous future awaits them. Just recently, the international firm KPMG completed a study on the benefits of the Framework Agreement for all the participating First Nations. Investments on reserve now are estimated at $270 million and thousands of on-reserve jobs are being created for both members and non-members. Our First Nations are forging new partnerships with businesses, investors, bankers as well as with provincial and municipal governments. Land management activities are being completed at the speed of business, which is significantly faster than under the Indian Act. Business decisions are now governed by the First Nations themselves. We are on the verge of a new era of prosperity for our communities, and I am elated that 19 additional First Nations today will be able to participate."
- Chief Robert Louie
Chair, First Nations Land Advisory Board
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada