The recent federal budget has allocated $9 million over two years to expand the First Nations Land Management Regime to create further opportunities for economic development on reserve.
The First Nations Land Management (FNLMA) was introduced by the Liberals back in 1999 and allows participating bands (it is optional) to opt out of the land management provisions of the Indian Act and create their own land codes.
The FNLMA is one of the closest things towards true First Nation ownership of land and resources.
This new investment is great news because the FNLMA is one proven path towards First Nations success.
Through extensive research, the Aboriginal Economic Development Board concludes that bands under FNLMA have better outcomes than bands not under it. According to Census 2006 data, the average income of $22,883 for First Nations people living in communities operational under the FNLMA was $4,554 higher than average incomes for First Nations people living in communities not enrolled in the FNLMA.
Let’s hope Ottawa provides more assistance to bands that opt for their proven route to successs.