9 First Nations Sign Agreement to Assume Greater Control Over their Land

On December 12, 2013, The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Chief Robert Louie of the First Nations Land Advisory Board, and Chief Austin Bear of the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Inc. welcomed nine more First Nations into the First Nations Land Management Regime.

“Our Government is committed to working with interested First Nations like those represented here today to create jobs and economic opportunities and also to achieve reconciliation between Canada and First Nations,” said Minister Valcourt. “The First Nations Land Management Regime continues to be a proven and successful tool of economic development and reconciliation. We will continue to work with interested First Nations to enable the development of their lands and resources, ensuring the conditions for strong, self-sufficient and prosperous communities.”

In a statement regarding the most recent signing ceremony, Chief Louie expressed that “This signing is absolutely wonderful. Adding more First Nations into Land Management will help propel much needed economic prosperity capabilities into the lives and communities of First Nations. Beneficiaries will include Canada, regional and local communities, and individual First Nation communities right across the country.”

Chief Austin Bear spoke to the importance of this moment for the 28 new entrants. “The Framework Agreement provides a better future for our communities. It is a catalyst to self‐sufficiency, state of the art infrastructure, and governance models driven by our values and traditional ways.” He added, “As a result of this historical and necessary initiative, First Nations working under their land codes are experiencing a profound increase of community involvement, pride, and the strengthening of our cultural identities. I commend Canada and Minister Valcourt on their continued support of the First Nations here today. In 1996 there were 14 signatory First Nations; soon there will be 110 communities once the 28 new entrants have signed their adhesion documents. However, our goal continues. Chief Louie and I will continue to work towards seeing all First Nations given the opportunity to opt out of the Indian Act and resume jurisdiction over reserve lands and resources.”

The new First Nations signing on to the Framework Agreement include:

Ontario: Chippewas of the Thames, Temagami and Wasauksing
Manitoba: Fisher River
Saskatchewan: Mistawasis
British Columbia: Chawathil, Katzie, Cheam and Scowlitz

For the full press release, please click here.

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