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Andrew Beynon #LGEDC2016 - First Nations National Land Governance & Economic Development

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#LGEDC2016 - First Nations National Land Governance & Economic Development: First Nation Laws and Policies under the Framework Agreement on Land Management

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Andrew Beynon #LGEDC2016 - First Nations National Land Governance & Economic Development

  1. 1. First Nation Laws and Policies under the Framework Agreement on Land Management First Nations National Land Governance & Economic Development Conference Andrew Beynon Saskatoon October 2016
  2. 2. Indian Act Laws & Policies
  3. 3. Indian Act – Antiquated Laws & Policies • Some First Nations have succeeded despite the Indian Act • Indian Act not designed for economic development • Indian Act not a safe vehicle for economic development • Indian Act parts do not fit well together – no planning – no economic development laws
  4. 4. Framework Agreement on Lands Management
  5. 5. Framework Agreement Respect for each First Nation’s Culture and Self Government Objectives
  6. 6. Framework Agreement • The Framework Agreement respects self government of individual First Nations – entirely optional with considerable flexibility in the design of laws and policies by participating First Nations • Framework Agreement has a demonstrated track record of success – a proven tool for effective self government • Lands Advisory Board strategic plan targets updates to the Framework Agreement that will likely further expand on existing success • Framework Agreement describes scope of law making powers, and the relationship of first Nation laws to federal laws and laws of neighbouring governments • Framework Agreement sets up broad authority to make laws and policies – but with protections for individuals (eg pre-existing interests in land, matrimonial real property rights)
  7. 7. Empowering First Nation Membership The Framework Agreement provides considerable power to community members by requiring community approval of a “land code” that controls and empowers First Nation governments Community members retain power over their governments over time through the ability to amend land codes – flexibility for community members to adjust as circumstances change Land codes can deal with all aspects of First Nation governments, not just the authority of Chief and Council – for instance issues that must remain under the control of community members as a whole, advisory bodies such as Land Committees, and even the authority of officials like land managers. Land codes must address core requirements of the Framework Agreement for example “requirements for accountability to First Nation members for the management of First Nation land and moneys…” The power of the Council of a First Nation to manage land and to make laws is expressly required to be in accordance with the First Nation’s land code.
  8. 8. Law Making Powers Framework Agreement sets out broad law making authority over lands and natural resources with some authority over environmental assessment and protection First Nation self government authority – no federal approvals or disallowance power Flexibility to adopt standards and other laws – potential for future clarification
  9. 9. Land Management Powers – Policies, Guidelines…. • Policies, guidelines… can be informal and non-binding – or become binding if incorporated within land codes and laws • Policies and guidelines can also indirectly become binding – as procedural rules. For example a specific requirement to obtain the advice or recommendations of a community’s Lands Committee before making a decision or finalizing a law • Land Codes, First Nation laws, strategic and economic development plans, policies and guidelines can all be designed to work together • Flexibility to manage community engagement in planning, law making and policies • Flexibility to engage business, neighbouring governments, developers.. • Recent study by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business recommends improved land use planning to raise business awareness of growth opportunities
  10. 10. Bright Future for the Framework Agreement
  11. 11. Future Growth & Framework Agreement Improvements