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Resourcing First Nation Communities for the Future

The fiscal relationship that is negotiated as part of Treaty arrangements will determine a First Nation’s access to capital, whether it is able to receive its fair share of funding and the extent to which it is able enjoy the benefits of any jurisdiction, land or settlement cash. Fiscal Relations concerns the ongoing funding a First Nation government will have access to – whether through transfers or directly through resource or taxation revenues. It also concerns the responsibility for providing programs, services and infrastructure to people (members and non-members) living on Treaty Settlement Lands.

The First Nations Summit Fiscal Relations Secretariat (FRS) was formed in order to provide support on fiscal relations issues to First Nations engaged in the BC Treaty Process. The members of the First Nations Summit passed resolutions to form the Fiscal Relations Secretariat (Summit Resolution #0600.06) and a Fiscal Relations Committee (Summit Resolution #0900.13). The Fiscal Relations Committee was formed to provide guidance to the Fiscal Relations Secretariat.

The tripartite Fiscal Relations Working Group (FRWG) was a regional forum that was established to explore options for a new First Nation fiscal relationship. The participants in the FRWG were the government of Canada, government of British Columbia, and the First Nations Summit. The BC Treaty Commission performed a valuable role as keeper of the process by facilitating these discussions.

The FRWG made a Report to the Principals (the Summit Task Group, the Minister of Indian Affairs, and the Attorney General) in June 2003. The BC Treaty Commission has recommended that further work take place in the context of table negotiations. The tripartite FRWG no longer meets regularly.

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