Opting into legislation removes Indian Act restrictions, enabling First Nations to act faster on economic opportunities
REGINA, March 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt joined Chief Darin Poorman in Regina today to announce that Kawacatoose First Nation is the first community to opt into the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA) and take full control over the management of its land and resource moneys.
The moneys management provisions of the Act will enable the Kawacatoose First Nation to act more quickly on investment, economic and employment opportunities.
By opting into FNOGMMA, the Indian Act requirement of seeking Ministerial approval to expend these monies no longer applies. This is just part of the Government of Canada's commitment to creating the conditions for healthier, more self-sufficient communities.
The community's financial code will now guide the First Nation's Council on how their moneys are spent. This increases the level of accountability of the First Nation's leadership and puts these moneys more quickly into the hands and control of the community.
- Kawacatoose First Nation has over 3,000 members, over 1,100 of whom reside on the community's reserve located 120 kilometres north of Regina.
- On June 28, 2013, the Kawacatoose First Nation voted in favour of implementing the moneys management component of the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA).
- Under the FNOGMMA, First Nations communities can assume full control and management of their oil and gas activities on reserve land, or all their current and future capital and revenue moneys currently held in trust for them by Canada, or both.
- Any First Nation in Canada can choose to opt into the FNOGMMA.
- First Nations do not need to have oil and gas revenues to opt into the FNOGMMA.
"Our Government knows that the healthiest First Nation communities are also those dedicated to better self-sufficiency. Direct access to these band funds means more economic opportunities for Kawacatoose First Nation, and all First Nations that opt into this legislation. Removing this Indian Act requirement means the First Nation can respond more quickly to community needs and opportunities."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The Kawacatoose First Nation is looking forward to providing a brighter future for our people, particularly in terms of resource development and undertaking that in a respectful and environmentally sustainable way. Now we can provide more economic opportunities and benefits to our members, as well as jobs in the future to sustain our First Nation in the long term. I'm proud to be a part of this, and I'm certain that what we're doing today will continue to benefit our members for many years to come."
Chief Darin Poorman
Kawacatoose First Nation
"The Chief, Council and membership should be congratulated for this accomplishment and in the vision to implement a key stepping stone that will now allow them to access capital for the purpose of strengthening their Nation's economy. The passage of the FNOGMMA vote represents a significant moment in the history of Indigenous communities in Canada. It provides the opportunity for Kawacatoose, as it would other entitlement bands, to access capital for the purpose of utilizing their remaining TLE allotment. The expansion of the Nation's surface and mineral holdings sets the stage for significant economic benefits for the Nation, and NARP as their financial partner is poised to not only provide capital but to assist the Nation in taking full advantage of those economic opportunities."
President and CEO of Native American Resource Partners
Fact Sheet - First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA): Moneys Provisions
Frequently Asked Questions - The First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA): Moneys Provisions
Department of Justice - First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act
Department of Justice - First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Voting Regulations
Kawacatoose First Nation - Community Profile
SOURCE: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
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