Posts

Recommendations for improving First Nations access to Indian Moneys

In June 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples recommended that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada convene a national roundtable with the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) and other First Nations organizations to explore ways to facilitate First Nations access to Indian moneys. In response to this recommendation the NIEDB held the Roundtable on First Nations Access to Indian Moneys on September 22, 2016 at the Tsuut’ina Nation in Alberta. It was attended by thirty-three First Nations and First Nation Organizations participated as well as 15 government officials.

Our most recent report, Recommendations on First Nations Access to Indian Moneys, summarizes this roundtable discussion and makes recommendations to the Government of Canada on increasing First Nations access to Indian moneys.

What are Indian Moneys?

Indian Moneys are those moneys belonging to First Nations bands or individuals, including capital and revenue moneys, which are held in trust by Canada. Due to the Government of Canada’s fiduciary duty, Indian Moneys must be placed in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the “benefit” of a First Nation. This means that First Nations face challenges in accessing their revenues which other governments and individuals in Canada do not face, including the following:

  • Indian Moneys are kept in the Consolidated Revenue Fund at low rates of interest, resulting in a lower rate of return than could otherwise be obtained.
  • First Nations are sometimes forced to wait for long periods of time to access the capital moneys required to purchase the assets necessary for community well-being and economic progress.
  • First Nations must request and justify the release of their own moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which has been described by roundtable participants as an affront to the dignity and rights of First Nations.

First Nations face significant barriers to economic development not faced by other levels of government, including access to Indian moneys. Due to years of economically restrictive policies and controlling legislation, First Nations have limited options to access their revenue streams. In particular, the moneys management provisions of the Indian Act are not conducive to taking advantage of opportunities in a timely fashion, or to building a competitive investment environment.

Our Board recognizes that First Nations must have the ability to exercise control and jurisdiction over a broad range of areas, and that First Nations are most successful when they have the statutory authority to make decisions about their own economic development. It is our hope that these recommendations will support approaches that will provide First Nations with greater access to and collection of Indian Moneys.

Executive Summary (2017)

Full Report (2017)

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

New Report Proves Economic and Fiscal Benefits of Addition to Reserves on First Nation Communities and Canadian Economy

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.

The Report
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

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

David Rodier
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
613-786-9945

david.rodier@hkstrategies.ca