VANCOUVER, Aug. 27, 2019 /CNW/ - Ensuring that self-governing Indigenous governments have stable, predictable and sufficient funding to exercise their inherent right to self-determination, will improve social and economic outcomes and ensure they can chart their own path to a brighter future for their communities based on the spirit and intent of their treaties with Canada.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, met with leaders of self-governing Indigenous governments as she announced a new fiscal policy that will better support self-government arrangements. This policy delivers on Canada's commitment to a new fiscal relationship with self-governing Indigenous governments.
Co-developed through collaboration between Canada and self-governing Indigenous governments, the new fiscal policy will provide self-governing Indigenous governments with the fiscal resources they need to realize the full potential of their self-government agreements and begin to close the social well-being gaps between Indigenous people and other Canadians.
Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada made a commitment to support the new costing approaches of the new policy. Through this collaborative work, Canada's fiscal policies can evolve more quickly to meet the changing circumstances and needs of self-governing Indigenous governments.
"Reconciliation and a true nation-to-nation relationship requires Indigenous governments have the tools and resources they need to govern themselves and implement their vision for their communities." The Collaborative Fiscal Policy framework is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together in true partnership with Indigenous people. Canada is truly grateful for the hard work and successful collaboration that has resulted in this new co-developed fiscal policy which articulates the responsibility of Canada to the self-governing Indigenous groups."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
"Huu-ay-aht is proud to have worked with Canada and its fellow Indigenous governments on an updated fiscal policy. We have engaged in meaningful work, necessary to guide the fiscal relationship between self-governing Indigenous governments and the Federal Crown from this point onwards. This process and the policy itself demonstrate the commitment of the government to active and continued reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. Huu-ay-aht looks forward to walking the path of reconciliation and the strengthening of Confederation by further implementing this policy to its fullest."
Elected councillor of Huu-ay-aht First Nations and
Director and Chair for Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
"We are on the verge of changing the world. Our world. And making a huge step forward in Reconciliation in this country. We have decolonized ourselves and built a new nation-to-nation relationship with Provinces and Territories. We have done all that despite having inadequate funding from the beginning. By working together in collaboration we have built solutions together. This means we can improve the lives of our people and it also means we are serious about breathing life into our Agreements."
Grand Chief George Mackenzie
"The Nisga'a Nation congratulates the Minister on working with the Nisga'a Nation and others to collaboratively develop a new policy for its fiscal relationship with self-governing Indigenous governments. The collaboratively developed policy is a significant step forward in improving the fiscal relationship among the treaty partners. We particularly welcome the new approach to governance funding, which better reflects the role, responsibilities and jurisdictions of Indigenous governments. The new policy is a good example of what can be accomplished when Canada works with its treaty partners to collaboratively develop policies that affect them and the lives of their people "
Secretary-Treasurer Corinne McKay
Nisg̱a'a Lisims Government
- Canada and self-governing Indigenous governments began working collaboratively on the development of a new self-government fiscal policy in May 2016.
- In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada committed to supporting the new policy's co-developed funding approaches and models, including for governance, community infrastructure and land and resource management. Joint work on other aspects of funding is ongoing.
- Under the new policy, new fiscal transfer agreements to support existing self-government agreements have been reached with 18self-governing Indigenous governments. Canada will continue to negotiate with the other self-governing Indigenous governments to seek renewed fiscal transfer agreements.
Date: August 27, 2019
Canada's Collaborative Self-Government Fiscal Policy
for Self-Governing Indigenous Governments
Canada's Collaborative Self-Government Fiscal Policy establishes a renewed and transparent funding model to better support the implementation of self-government agreements and treaties with self-government arrangements. Successful implementation of these agreements is key to advancing reconciliation in Canada and is fundamental for self-determination and improving the quality of life for Indigenous peoples and communities.
Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples have an inherent right of self-government guaranteed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
While self-government agreements vary from group to group depending on their unique needs and vision of self-determination, typically self-governing Indigenous governments can have decision and law-making authority in areas such as: governance, social and economic development, education, health, culture and language and land and resources.
Co-developing a new fiscal policy
Co-developed in collaboration with self-governing Indigenous governments, the new fiscal policy establishes a clear and transparent framework that will guide federal officials concluding fiscal agreement renewals with self-governing Indigenous governments.
This new approach is based on the expenditure need of self-governing Indigenous governments and establishes approaches that can be tailored to address specific circumstances of each government (such as responsibilities, population, location) and the nature of their self-government arrangements.
The fiscal policy is intended to provide sufficient fiscal resources to Indigenous governments to fulfill their responsibilities and to provide public services that are reasonably comparable to those available to other Canadians. It also supports measures to help close the social well-being gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
Work to address all aspects of funding is ongoing but Canada confirmed its support to the first of the new costing approaches that support the policy through Budget 2019.
The goal of the new policy is to strengthen the government-to-government partnership and better support self-government arrangements by providing sufficient, predictable and sustained funding so self-governing Indigenous governments have the means and fiscal capacity to govern effectively.
Renewed Fiscal Transfer Agreements
Currently there are 25 self-governing Indigenous governments that receive fiscal transfers through agreements with the Government of Canada. With this fiscal support, self-governing Indigenous governments fulfil the responsibilities and obligations set out in their modern treaty or self-government agreement. These fiscal agreements are renewed on a periodic basis and help implement the fiscal relationship between Canada and self-governing Indigenous governments.
As of August 26, 2019 the following self-governing Indigenous governments have signed renewed fiscal transfer agreements:
- Nisga'a Lisims Government
- Tłı̨chǫ Government
- Huu-ay-aht First Nations
- Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Chek'tles7et'h' First Nations
- Toquaht Nation
- Uchucklesaht Tribe
- Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government
- Deline Got'ine Government
- shíshálh Nation
- Westbank First Nation
- Tla'amin Nation
- Champagne and Aishihik First Nations
- Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Government
- First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun
- Vuntut Gwitchin Government
- Selkirk First Nation
- Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation
- Ta'an Kwäch'än Council
Canada will continue to negotiate with the other self-governing Indigenous governments to seek renewed fiscal transfer agreements.
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Alison Butler, NVision Insight Group Inc., [email protected], (604) 505-5428