Of the 4,685 communities ranked in INAC's well-being index, 92 First Nations appear in the bottom 100! One First Nation community appears in the top 100 communities. Click here to read the Canada Newswire article.
INAC's First Nations Community Well-Being Index assesses quality of life based on indicators such as education, life expectancy and income (information can be found on-line at http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/ra/pub4_e.html). The government study ranks 4,685 Canadian communities, including 541 First Nation communities.
In response to the INAC document, the Assembly of First Nations published a document called "Federal Government Funding to First Nations - The Facts, the Myths, and the Way Forward" - Click here to read this document
On October 27, 2004, Senator St. Germain moved Bill S-16 passed its first reading in the Senate. Click here to read the entire bill.
An Act providing for the Crown’s recognition of self-governing First Nations of Canada
From the SUMMARY of Bill S-16 ...
This enactment recognizes the powers of First Nations peoples inhabiting lands reserved for their communities to exercise the jurisdiction and powers inherent in their status.
It provides for a process whereby a First Nation community may opt to come under its provisions by following the steps provided, and recognizes the jurisdiction of First Nations that do so. A referendum must be held on the subject and the proposal, including a constitution, must be put before the electors. The constitution must provide at least for accountability and for limits on the law-making powers of the First Nations government. The enactment applies only to recognized land-based indigenous communities.
First Nations lands are named aboriginal lands. They include reserve lands, lands acquired or owned by a First Nation before or after it comes under the Act that are declared by the Governor-in-Council to be its lands, treaty or land claim lands confirmed through negotiation or through the successful assertion of a claim, and any lands acquired by the First Nation before or after it comes under the Act as compensation for the expropriation of other land.
The enactment recognizes the jurisdiction of First Nations to legislate in specified fields, and reconciles that jurisdiction with the jurisdiction exercised by federal and provincial governments.
The limits of a First Nation’s jurisdiction are set out in its constitution, and its law-making powers are limited by several factors, including the following:
a) except in very limited areas, they are applicable only on the lands of the First Nation;
The First Nation has exclusive jurisdiction over its own laws in relation to the laying of charges and the prosecution of persons who contravene its laws. The enactment sets forth the relationship between the First Nation and the province in which it is situated. It also provides for the management of the First Nation’s land and finances.
The enactment contains a draft sample constitution, but a different constitution may be adopted, provided it is consistent with the Act and covers specified subject matters. The constitution must be approved by the people, and may be amended only by them according to its terms. A First Nation’s government cannot amend its constitution.
On November 2, 2004, the minister of INAC, Andy Scott presented BILL C-20 to the House of Commons in its first reading. Click here to read the entire bill.
From the introduction of the bill ...
An Act to provide for real property taxation powers of first nations, to create a First Nations Tax Commission, First Nations Financial Management Board, First Nations Finance Authority and First Nations Statistical Institute and to make consequential amendments to other Acts ...
This enactment strengthens first nations’ real property tax regimes and creates a first nation bond financing regime, and creates four institutions to support those regimes, to promote first nations’ economic development and to strengthen first nations’ statistical capacity. ...