The Indian Act regulates almost every aspect of community life on reserve for nearly 565,000 registered Indians. It defines who is an Indian and, among other matters, regulates band membership and government, taxation, lands and resources, estates and money management. While legislation and regulations in off-reserve contexts typically evolve and are updated over time, the Indian Act has been relatively static leaving on reserve communities with outdated and paternalistic rules and procedures which have not kept pace with the modern economy.
What’s Next – The recommendations set out in this report represent the NIEDB’s first step in helping to address the barriers to Indigenous economic development. The Board will continue its work in this area — to identify obstacles to economic participation for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people and make specific recommendations to the federal government to help create a level playing field for Indigenous people in Canada.