NATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE
New Report Proves Economic and Fiscal Benefits of Addition to Reserves on First Nation Communities and Canadian Economy
National Indigenous Economic Development Board study identifies six successful communities who have generated $77 million in new economic activity
Ottawa, ON – October 15, 2014 – The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NAEDB) today released its latest report – Identifying Success Factors in Urban First Nations. With thousands of land claims currently underway across Canada, the conversion of land to reserve is generating increased interest by Canadians who worry about the social and economic implications to their communities.
The NAEDB conducted a study of six First Nations and neighbouring communities in order to quantify the economic and fiscal impacts of established urban reserves for both the reserve and the surrounding region. The report shows that six communities have collectively created over 7,000 jobs and over $77 million in annual economic activity benefiting both First Nations and neighbouring municipalities.
“Aboriginal economic development should be an ongoing priority,” said Chief Clarence Louie, Chair of the Board. “In the past, some municipalities have expressed concerns that when a piece of land near them is converted to reserve land it would have a negative impact on them. This Board’s study proves that they are wrong. These reserves are flowing jobs and money to the surrounding region and economic development is benefitting not only the First Nations but the communities nearby as well.”
Combined success of the six communities include:
- Existing and planned investment estimated to exceed $1.5 billion
- Existing and planned investment has and will generate approximately 2,700 ongoing jobs held by reserve residents and approximately 4,400 ongoing jobs held by off reserve residents
- Approximately $77 million annually in support of off reserve economic activity
- Over $30 million annually in First Nation government revenues generated by the investment on the six urban reserves
- Approximately $5 million annually in property taxes collected by non-First Nation local governments attributable to the investment on these six urban reserves
In addition to quantifying the economic success of urban reserves, the report also identifies the five key factors that contribute to their success. These include: infrastructure and services, governance, land management regime, own source revenues and community support. These factors were determined by interviewing key community members in each of the six cases.
This report is the first in a two part series on this topic being undertaken by the Board. The second report is expected to be released the coming months and will examine how the economic benefits from new parcels of lands that are being converted to reserve lands, through the Additions to Reserve process, can be maximized.
An Addition to Reserve is a parcel of land that is added to the existing land base of a First Nation or is used to create a new reserve. Land can be added, through the Additions to Reserve process, in rural or urban settings.
The case of six urban First Nations was considered as well as the neighbouring municipalities. The study communities included:
- Shuswap Band and the District of Invermere — BC
- Westbank First Nation and the District of West Kelowna — BC
- Whitecap Dakota First Nation and City of Saskatoon –SK
- Opaskwayak Cree Nation and The Town of the Pas — MB
- Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam and the City of Sept-Isles — QC
- Madawaska Maliseet First Nation and the City of Edmunston — NB
The National Indigenous Economic Development Board
Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board was created by Order-in-Council to provide strategic policy and program advice to the federal government on Aboriginal economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Métis community and business leaders from across Canada, the Board plays an important role in helping the federal government develop policies and programs that respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Aboriginal Canadians.
The study on Identifying Success Factor in Urban Reserves was developed for the Board by Fiscal Realities Economists. The report can be found online at: http://www.naedb-cndea.com/publications
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