First Nations Elections Act to provide the foundation for First Nations to elect strong, stable and transparent governments
MONCTON, NB, April 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt was joined by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs (APC) and Chief Ron Evans (Norway House Cree Nation) in recognising the passing into law of the First Nations Elections Act with a celebratory event in New Brunswick. The new Act will provide a robust election framework that will help develop the stable First Nation governance necessary to improve economic development opportunities and build prosperous communities.
The First Nations Elections Act was drafted based on recommendations from the APC and other First Nation organizations; it will provide a strong legislated alternative for First Nations elections.
The Act addresses longstanding issues with the current electoral system under the Indian Act. First Nations who opt-in will have access to modern electoral provisions including:
- longer terms of office;
- more robust nomination processes;
- defined penalties;
- a common election day for interested First Nations; and
- removal of the Minister's role in election appeals.
Minister Valcourt also re-affirmed the Government of Canada and the APC will work together on the development of regulations, which is the next step in the implementation of the First Nations Elections Act.
- The First Nations Elections Act received Royal Assent on April 11, 2014.
- Currently, of the 617 First Nations in Canada, 238 hold elections under the Indian Act and the Indian Band Election Regulations. This opt-in legislation will provide these First Nations with an alternative legislated election system that addresses many of the weaknesses of the Indian Act election system
- The First Nations Elections Act is a concrete example of working in partnership and collaboration with willing partners to support strong, stable, and effective governance.
- In the past year, five key pieces of legislation related to First Nations have received Royal Assent and have been passed into law, and will contribute to increasing the quality of life for First Nation people across Canada.
"The First Nations Elections Act will help create the foundation for strong, accountable and transparent First Nation governments thanks to the efforts of all of our partners. I look forward to continuing to work with the APC in the shared mission to help provide First Nations across Canada with the political stability necessary for solid business investments, long term planning and relationship building."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"Elections are an issue of critical importance in our communities and this new Act will allow many positive changes."
John G. Paul
Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs
"The modernization of the election system for our First Nation Governments has been a cause near and dear to the hearts of the Atlantic Policy Congress. We believe it will help all of us to build confidence in our governance and assist in the pursuit of economic development goals."
Chief Dean Vicaire
Interim Co-Chair for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs
"The First Nations Elections Act will be the catalyst for creating stable and credible governance systems, will strengthen self-governance and allow First Nations to move forward on important initiatives and the necessary social and economic changes to improve the quality of life for First Nations."
Chief Ron Evans
Norway House Cree Nation
- Frequently Asked Questions - First Nations Elections Act
- Backgrounder - First Nations Elections Act
- Fact Sheet - First Nations Elections Act
- Comparison - Elections under the Indian Act vs. First Nations Elections Act
- News Release - First Nations Elections Act Receives Royal Assent
- First Nations Elections Act Website
- APC Website
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
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