This week Richard interviews Councillor Bill McCue of a Georgina Island First Nation. Bill has also been a long-time Land Advisory Board member and an advocate for land codes from the beginning. His community was the first ever to vote and ratify a land code in Canada. Although the creation of opportunity and business has been important to his people, Bill says for his island-based community, protecting the environment has been of most relevance for Georgina Island First Nation.
:50 Bill was elected Chief in 1993 and was invited to hear more about the concept of a land code. The idea was to get out from restrictive provisions of the Indian Act.
2:35 Early discussion with other leaders about the mechanics of doing this.
3:55. His community voted 94% in favour of leaving the Indian Act land provisions, the first in Canada to do so.
4:35. Bill shares highlights and benefits of having a Land Code, including taking two weeks, not two years to make land decisions.
6:29 Land Code provides community ownership of environmental laws and protection of heritage/sacred sites.
8:40. Bill shares location of the Island-based communities on Lake Simcoe, 50 miles north of Toronto.
12:07. Early growth of the movement from west to east.
13:07 LC brought new businesses and business centre while holding federal government accountable to its fiduciary duties.
14:34 Realizing that some First Nations have priorities other than pursuing Land Code.
15:59 Need for amendments to the overarching legislation.
17:30. Joined FN Tax Commission also to generate additional revenues and have more control.
20:42 Sees further expansion of land code movement over the next 25 years.
21:58. Provides contact info (see below).
Bill McCue – [email protected]
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
First Nation Lands Management Resource Centre
First Nation Lands Advisory Board