1 Exploring Our Governance Options: Identifying Priorities, Taking Action and Implementing Change

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  • 1 Exploring Our Governance Options: Identifying Priorities, Taking Action and Implementing Change
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  • 2 The need for strong & appropriate governance Governance means establishing rules to coordinate our actions and achieve our goals The institutions we create to make rules and then enforce them, we call government Governance and government come in many forms but are always needed The quality of governance, much more than its specific form, has a huge impact on the fortunes of any given societyours are no exception Societies that govern well simply do better economically, socially and politically than those that do not Effective governance increases a societys chances of meeting the needs of its people
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  • 3 Rebuilding First Nations governance Our Nations were historically self-governing Since colonization systems of governance have been imposed on our Nations First Nation peoples, lands and economies have been governed separate and apart from non-Aboriginal Canada under federal administrative authority in accordance with the Indian Act The impoverished notion of governance under the Indian Act is neither an appropriate governance framework for our people nor for any people The status quo is having a negative impact on our societies ability to meet the needs of our people In Canada and particularly in BC, work is underway to rebuild our Nations Our Nations are implementing our inherent right of self-government and are moving away from governance under the Indian Act and control by Canada It Is not small task to decolonize
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  • 4 Developing a critical path to move beyond the Indian Act In BC, approximately 70% of our Nations have undergone, or are undergoing, governance reform The process of reform starts at the community level Based on each Nations vision, leadership and culture Governance must be developed from the ground up based on the needs of our community After considering the needs in our community and what governance reform may be desired, we need to consider our options for governance reform The options can be viewed along a continuum of governance options that incrementally could lead to full self-government Considering the options and developing our own governance critical path is required to move beyond the Indian Act will be done on our own time and based on our own governance priorities
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  • 5 Exploring the options To help First Nations consider our governance options and to identify where more political work is needed to create options, the BCAFN has produced The Governance Report, Part 1 of the Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation Building (Available for download on our site, at www.bcafn.ca)www.bcafn.ca The Governance Report brings together in one place the governance work and experiences of First Nations in BC and sets out the current options along the governance continuum The Report will assist our Nations in developing our own critical path to implement governance reform and re-establish strong and appropriate governance for our citizens and lands, both our existing lands (i.e., reserves) and our traditional territory The following slides set out the structure of The Governance Report
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  • 6 Part 1 The Governance Report Key Assumptions There are some key assumptions behind the ReportThese are: Our Nations have an inherent right of self-government Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples The primary building block of governance for our peoples is the Nation Primary relationship between our Nations and Crown is with the federal government
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  • 7 The Report is divided into four sections: Section One Options for Governance Reform History of evolving First Nations governance & the development of options along a governance continuum ranging from under the Indian Act, to sectoral and comprehensive governance arrangements Section Two - Core Institutions of Governance Focusses on the structure of First Nations governance and its core institutions; the Citizens, the governing body, and the constitution Section Three - Powers (Jurisdictions) of the First Nation Explores 33 powers (jurisdictions) and provides background information on the subject area and looks at what our Nations are doing in each area along the governance continuum using comparative charts along with resource guides Section Four - Financing First Nations Governance Considers the costs of our Nations governance, sources of First Nations revenues, public debt financing, transfers from other governments, and the evolving fiscal relationship with Canada including the impact of own source revenue on federal transfers Part 1 The Governance Report Contd
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  • 9 Section 1 provides a brief history of evolving First Nations governance within Canada It considers the options along the governance continuum: Indian Act Governance Sectoral Governance Initiatives Comprehensive Governance Arrangements Part 1 - Section 1 Options for Governance Reform
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  • 10 Interim Steps to Comprehensive Governance Arrangements Developing a membership code Custom (Section 10) Developing your own election rules (section 74(1)/Custom) Assumption of delegated land management powers (section 53 & 60) Use of by-law making powers (Section 81) Implementing property taxation (Section 83) Strategic use of the Indian Act
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  • 11 Sectoral Governance Arrangements There are still a limited number of forums for negotiating comprehensive self-government agreements with Canada and, in some cases, provinces First Nations have led initiatives to advance governance in specific areas such as lands, education, health, oil and gas and fiscal relations These initiatives do not require negotiating all aspects of self-government Some sectoral initiatives are national in scope and some are restricted to British Columbia Processes and jurisdiction under sectoral initiatives are found in federal and/or provincial legislation dealing with the subject area Any terms and conditions for participating in a sectoral governance initiative are set out in the Report
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  • 12 Examples of Sectoral Governance Initiatives On-reserve: Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management and the First Nations Land Management Act First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act BC Education Jurisdiction Framework Agreement Off-reserve: Resource based shared decision-making, reconciliation, and strategic engagement agreements with the province
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  • 13 Comprehensive Governance Arrangements Some First Nations are no longer governing under the Indian Act at all and have comprehensive governance arrangements with Canada, and in most cases with BC These First Nations are self-governing within the terms of their arrangements For example: As part of modern claims settlements (e.g. Nisgaa, Tsawwassen, and Maa-nulth) For example: Stand alone self-government arrangements. (e.g. Sechelt and Westbank)
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  • BRITISH COLUMBIA ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS /// WWW.BCAFN.CA JUNE 201214 Where is our Nation along the continuum of governance reform?
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  • 15 Section 2 of the Report looks at the core institutions of government. Core institutions are those practices, bodies and structures that together constitute government Legal Status and Capacity All governments require basic legal recognition to carry out their duties The Citizens Who is entitled to be a citizen of a Nation? The Governing body The core institution of any government is its governing body (e.g., chief and council) The Constitution The fundamental law of any Nation Part 1 - Section 2 Core Institutions of Governance
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  • 16 What powers (jurisdictions) is your Nation considering exercising when looking at its needs today and into the future (e.g., land management, health, education, child and family etc.)? Part 1 - Section 3 Powers (Jurisdictions) of the First Nation
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  • 17 Structure of Part 1: Section 3Section 3 of the Governance Report looks at 33 different powers (jurisdictions), arranged alphabetically and considered along the governance continuum Each Chapter is arranged as follows: Background Indian Act Governance Sectoral Governance Initiatives Comprehensive Governance Arrangements (Sechelt, Westbank, Nisgaa, Tsawwassen and Maa-nulth) Comparative Chart BC First Nations Laws/By-laws in Force and Other Activities Resources The following slides provide chapter summaries for Education, Financial Administration, Health and Land Management Part 1 - Section 3 Powers (Jurisdictions) of the First Nation
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  • 18 Part 1 - Section 3.7 Education Background Identified as the national priority of AFN First Nations jurisdiction over First Nations education on reserve in BC Over 129 First Nations-controlled schools in BC Indian Act Governance No jurisdiction only administrative arrangements Sectoral Governance Initiatives 63 First Nations have indicated intent to negotiate jurisdiction agreements under the BC First Education initiative. Comprehensive Governance Arrangements First Nations have jurisdiction over K-12 education Resources First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) First Nations Education Authority BC First Nations Schools Association (FNSA)
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