Williams Lake Indian Band Announces Successful First Nations Land Management Vote

by ahnationtalk on May 12, 2014828 Views

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2014

Williams Lake Indian Band Announces Successful First Nations Land Management Vote
WILLIAMS LAKE – The Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) today announced the result of the membership vote on First Nations Land Management (FNLM). “We’re extremely excited to announce that 154 of our members voted in favor of our Land Code and Individual Agreement, and only 26 voted against it,” states WLIB Lands Officer, Byron Louie. “That’s an 85% approval rating, and means we well exceeded the number of ‘yes’ votes required to make the transition to FNLM.”

First Nations Lands Management means that WLIB will have a form of sectoral self-government over reserve land management and that the lands management provisions of the Indian Act will now cease to apply. Future leasing and management of WLIB lands will be handled within the community, and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada will no longer be involved in such transactions.

“This is another huge step for our community,” states WLIB Chief, Ann Louie. “The Indian Act system is outdated and paternalistic, and it is completely unable to move at the speed of business. Under FNLM,
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decisions will be made in the community, and it will be a much more efficient system of lands management. WLIB has huge plans in the area of economic development, and FNLM will make it much easier to achieve our goals. Over the next five years there will be some truly amazing things happening.”

A 2009 study conducted by KPMG, which sampled 17 FNLM communities, found that those communities had, since transitioning to FNLM, experienced $53 million in investment from member-owned businesses, $100 million in investment from third parties businesses, more than 2,000 employment opportunities for band members, and more than 10,000 employment opportunities for non-members pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies

WLIB is now awaiting the formal “certification” of its Land Code by the Verifier appointed by Canada. After certification occurs, a final sign off from the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada will be required before the transition to First Nations Management can occur.

For more information, please contact please contact Kirk Dressler, Williams Lake Indian Band Economic Development Officer, at (250) 296-3507 or kirk.dressler@williamslakeband.ca.

For print sized copies of the embedded images, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dcpo60zpbdua8px/AACNJBcq6ARTDuXdSKCzfV-9a
http://www.williamslakeband.ca
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