OTTAWA, July 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister
of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced that
the Government of Canada is responding to calls for a more efficient
Additions to Reserve (ATR) process to better allow First Nations to
take advantage of economic development opportunities. To improve the
ATR process, the government is seeking feedback on proposed revisions to the Policy on Additions to Reserve and Reserve
"Our Government is taking concrete action to respond to calls from First
Nations to accelerate the Additions to Reserve process," said Minister
Valcourt. "Expanding the reserve land base is an important mechanism by
which First Nations can create conditions for economic development and
job creation in their communities."
Revising the 2001 ATR policy addresses the series of recommendations put
forward by the Auditor General of Canada in order to improve the
process. It also aligns with the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.
There have been many calls to streamline and accelerate the lengthy ATR
process. ATRs are typically lengthy and complex - taking an average of
five to seven years to complete. The proposed revisions to the policy
would provide clear policy direction for reserve creation, promote
consistent assessment, consider the interests of all parties, and
streamline the process for reserve creation proposals. Noting in the
ATR policy will affect ownership or tenure of reserve lands.
Since 2011, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has been
working with the Assembly of First Nations to accelerate the ATR
process, beginning with a revision of the 2001 ATR Policy.
Before the new policy is finalized, an online feedback process will take place from July 26 to September 30, 2013. Participants are
encouraged to share their perspectives on the policy changes and to
suggest improvements. The comments received during the engagement
period will be used to inform the final revisions to the policy. A
summary of what was heard during the public comment phase will be
posted on the website when the revised policy is released. This summary
will also describe how the comments were incorporated in the final
version of the revised policy.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Standing Senate
Committee on Aboriginal Peoples for their report, entitled Additions to Reserve: Expediting the Process, that identifies a number of key challenges and makes recommendations
for improving the process," added Minister Valcourt.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca.
For more information on ATRs, please see:
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SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern