THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Minister Duncan of Aboriginal Affairs of Northern Development Canada has announced the entry of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation (BNA) into the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management. Led by Chief Paul Gladu, BNA has been working diligently towards the development of a new and innovative community master plan. For BNA, the announcement that it is to be accepted under the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management (Framework Agreement) could not have come at a better time as only 20 short months ago, the community recently received their official reserve status through an Order in Council.
With the entry of the BNA Framework Agreement process, the First Nation can now maximize their opportunities in the completion of their comprehensive planning and address the associated challenges of implementation head on. The Framework Agreement will give BNA the authority to create its own Land Code and land laws in the development of its reserve lands, natural resources and revenues from its reserve land base. This new mandate will greatly improve the bureaucratic efficiency of the First Nation to act in a manner which reflects both the vision of their leadership and the needs of their members as they move forward. It will also give BNA the power to direct lands and economic development within their reserve base by replacing the previous two-step administrative process which saw AANDC initially review all potential projects prior to BNA's ability to make real-time decisions and act upon them.
Chief Gladu states; "We are extremely happy to hear that BNA has been selected as one of the communities to be a new signatory to the Framework Agreement. Even more honoured when one considers that we are only one of two First Nations in Ontario to be selected for this process. We sincerely appreciate the support of Minister Duncan as we continue to move forward in the development of our First Nation policies and protocols including governance, community housing, economic development and infrastructure - all in support of the growth of our membership. This announcement will assist us in establishing and nurturing partnerships with industry, governments, municipalities and our neighbouring First Nations. BNA leadership is extremely proud of their members as they continue to prove time and time again to be both positive and engaged in the planning process of their First Nation. We are confident that we have forged a strong path in community development - one built on a stable foundation based on establishing best practices through our own First Nation's - built Land Code which will ensure sustained growth."
Wilfred King, Director of Operations, says, "This is a positive step towards self-government for BNA with regards to asserting its sovereignty over the development of its reserve lands and resources. By creating our own Land Code, BNA can now exercise jurisdiction and be the drivers of their destiny. As far as the First Nations ability to act proactively and responsibly to new opportunities, this announcement is very significant for the First Nation. This process will enable the First Nation to engage business and development, and to become economically self-sufficient. "
JP Gladu, Senior Advisor for Business Development is elated. "The creation of a BNA Land Code is going to add significant stability for both our First Nation and for our project partners as we implement our present business streams. Current projects under development in the community include a value added saw mill and a pellet mill. Future ventures could see the exploration of wind-generated power, the construction of the Copper Thunderbird 5-Star Eco-lodge Resort, the consideration of seasonal cottage developments and the creation of a long-term care facility. Partnerships will be easier for all involved parties to negotiate and navigate which makes our First Nation an attractive associate to potential outside investors."
Notes to the Editor:
Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (previously referred to as Sand Point First Nation) is an Ojibway First Nation of 215 people which is located 180 kms northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
For further information:
Chief Paul Gladu and Wilfred King - 1-807-623-2724
JP Gladu - 1-613-866-4161.