1:24 Ty describes the rationale for his community entering the Land Code process.
2:49 Having a land code has cleared up some confusion and potential conflicts of interest around land use.
5:44 Ty's background in environmental and soil sciences is ideal for his current work as reserve land manager. His work experience began up north.
8:35 Land codes are always a work in progress, but environmental protection is in the draft stage for all 19 reserves, ensuring that quality of lands is sacrosanct and that violations will lead to stuff penalties. No longer 'the wild west.'
12:17 Talks are underway to explore Treaty 6 agricultural benefits, more commonly referred to 'Cows and Plows'. Chief and council taking the lead on this.
13:55 A huge benefit is being able to take advantage of owning huge tracts of agricultural land - about 35,000 acres that is rented out. That revenue is no longer controlled by Indigenous Services Canada.
15:35 Lac La Ronge Indian Band has stepped in to help with emergency relief for homeless people in the tri-communities area.
19:12. Ty comments on a recent award to Chief Tammy Cook-Searson by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
21:09. The community is launching ground radar searching for the graves of those lost in two residential schools in the area.
22:31 Ty describes the emotional difficulties when talking about de-colonizing, the need to be heard and recognized so people can hear the truth, that there will no reconciliation without the truth. He says Land Code can help.
25:01. He has been fortunate in his own life to succeed in the outside education, but has benefited from traditional teaching, so has seen himself walking in two worlds.
26:51. Ty has exciting news about the birth of their first son, Watson Edward Roberts!
28:00. His contact: [email protected] The band also has an active website and Facebook page which has current info including job postings.
28:51 Richard's extra and call-to-action to visit labrc.com for current news and important upcoming online events.
Ty Roberts email - [email protected]
Lac La Ronge Indian Band website
Lac La Ronge Indian Band Facebook page
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre website
Richard welcomes John Makson, senior public relations advisor, to episode 30 of the Land Decolonized podcast. John has worked with the resource centre in several important capacities and has taken the lead on the creation and promotion of this top-ranked Apple Canada podcast.
In this episode he talks about why the podcast is engaging listeners (not just in Canada) and what he envisions for the upcoming season.
John is a proud member of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, from the Wolf Clan, of the Kahienkeha’ka people from South Eastern Ontario. After attending Queen’s university John moved to British Columbia to work with the Federal Treaty Negotiation office in 1998. John moved on to Statistics Canada to work on the 2001 Aboriginal Census and Aboriginal People’s Survey, and then to the start-up First Nations Statistical Institute.
John accepted a full-time position with the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre in 2007. John has worked as a field technician in BC and was the Manager for the Western team. For 10 years he was happy to have worked with communities throughout British Columbia on their land code process and community ratification votes. In 2016 John accepted the position of Manager of Communications, and most recently, went on to focus on Public Relations for the Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre.
Samantha Nogonash, former Deputy Chief and current Land Manager of the Magnetawon First Nation Samantha shares a wonderful on-the-ground perspective on day-to-day land management. Having been operational with a land code for the past 6 years, Magnetawan has made turtles a priority for their environmental protection activities and believes Land Decolonized ultimately means community control and collective decision making.
We want to thank everyone who joined us for a successful Season 1 of the podcast! We will be back with our first show of Season 2 on September 1st, 2021.
1:40 Samantha Noganosh talks about her role as deputy chief and now lands manager. She will focus totally on that by not running in the upcoming band election.
2:35 Why was she so intrigued about land management? Elders helped push her along after college.
3:28 Magnetawan is celebrating its 6th anniversary with land code.
4:09 Its land code was amended to account for a transmission line extension and future development opportunities.
5:15 Samantha talks about establishing a lands committee and the challenges around the Covid-19 pandemic. Needed to move to more online communications.
5:54. A brief chat about community health during the pandemic. Currently at 72% vaccination rate (fully.)
6:28 Band is located on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, about three hours north of Toronto. A hot spot for wildlife and species at risk.
7:00 Species at risk was a huge motive for taking more control of their land, plus future business opportunities. Highway 69 widening was also an issue. Wanted to help reduce the turtle kill on the highway.
8:53 With the highway widening it should bring new economic opportunities.
9:18 Huge thanks to FNLMRC for its assistance and also to other national contacts.
9:50 Sees benefits to community and congratulates other 100 communities.
10:15 Land decolonization means community control and community decision-making. Land code helps with collective decision-making.
12:00 Samantha comments on land code being "one of community's most historic events."
12:34 Protecting turtles was focus of one of the new laws created on environmental protection. Band was compensated by a law-breaker by receiving turtle incubators. Has moved into a new office with a laboratory to help the turtles along.
14:20 Check out their Facebook page!
14:39 Richard promotes band website and mentions summer break with the podcast returning in September 2021.
Magnetawan First Nation website
Magnetawan Lands & Resources Facebook Page (highlights turtle program)
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Chief Edward (Ted) Williams of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation is on the show this week. The home of the popular and successful "Casino Rama" development, Chief Williams speaks to dealing with COVID-19, and plans for reopening the community with a large retail centre. Having a deep history in lands related work dating back to the early 1970s, he says the land code was part of community planning, and Rama was one of the early adopters to sign onto the Framework on First Nation Land Management from the beginning. Rama has had a history of exploring opportunities and moving quickly and believes communities should take this step towards land management because, "its our land, its our voice and its our control."
:34 Richard welcomes Chief Ted Williams to the podcast.
:52 Chief outlines his community's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Band got out in front of this issue. The famous Rama Casino has been closed. Despite its economic importance, it will not open until the time is right. Usually two to three million visitors per year!
2:35 They handled Covid planning in earnest about ten days before it happened.
3:27 Chief has been involved with land for more than 40 years. They has surrendered some land for an industrial park in the early 80s and had clients. They won bid for Casino Rama in 1974, and wanted to place it on the waterfront but the community said no. Its current location was supposed to be temporary. Casino open now for 25 years and is a huge employer and revenue generator. Economic development has always been a priority.
6:24 Rama became one of the first signatories to the framework agreement in the mid-90s.
6:56 What does 'speed of business' mean to him? A good example is cannabis. Land was designated commercial earlier and retail operation opened quickly.
8:23 Great to be able to pick up the phone and deal quickly. Cutting out Ottawa for approvals around land use is ideal because no one knows about the land more than the community.
9:15 36,000 square foot retail building is open to leasing arrangements and lots of inquiries locally and national companies who want to locate at Rama. Building will be filled before Christmas. Lots of jobs and feeding other Band businesses, including two Tim Hortons outlets, the only Nation in Canada having two.
11:18 Chief describes the process of developing land and the role of council, staff and land code committee. Based on community's strategic planning and local input. No more waiting for Indian Affairs.
13:15 Band has settled two treaty negotiations and other items are under discussion that could involve further development. Possible land purchases and additions to reserve.
14:44 Resource Centre staff were fabulous in development of a land code promotion strategy for on and off-reserve members (mentions Cassandra in particular). Very thorough campaign. with in-person, web, digital, mail and more venues for sharing information. It led to a Yes vote of 91%.
18:20 Chief Williams shares his personal journey as it relates to colonization and the negative impact of an incomplete Canadian history. Being told what they should earn, where they should live, where to get spiritual needs met. Decolonization is about learning who you really are, where you come from and your own history. There is much work to be done .
22:20 Has land code helped with decolonization? Yes, land is our Mother Earth and we need to look after it. It helps create pride and a feeling of identity. We choose. We can compete in the Canadian mosaic.
24:30 What is his advice to other communities contemplating signing on to the framework agreement? You should be in control!
25:25. Chief expresses his community's grief and sorrow over the beautiful lost souls no
Adam Good, Band Manager of Shawanaga First Nation near Lake Huron, Ontario, has been involved in the land code process from day one in his community. He was instrumental in shaping the community engagement and advocacy process. And with the prospect of an expanding land base (now under negotiation), having that foundation as a law-making entity will be critical to his community's success.
Williams Lake First Nation's Chief Willie Sellars Jr. is on the show this week to talk about the positive developments that have come since passing the land code 7 years ago. Having been involved early on, Chief Sellars Jr. attributes strong community engagement and support for why land code works for them. Under his leadership, cultural revitalization balances the many economic development interests in this well-situated community.
1:03 Chief Sellars congratulates RP and team on the podcast.
2:06 Population of Williams Lake and rural surroundings is diverse with about 50,000 population and is really the hub to a number of 15 First Nation communities.
3:26 They own a golf course and campsite and are moving into future tourism opportunities. Investing in culture and language revitalization.
4:43 Chief Sellars talks about his background at university, as a firefighter and then moving into the role of a special projects coordinator and then onto council. He really liked the community engagement process of the land code process, including urban engagement sessions to engage as many as possible. Highest voter turnout ever, since eclipsed! 95% said Yes.
7:57 Land Code basically sold itself because of so much animosity toward the federal control over the Band.
8:58 Chief says they've been lucky with capacity and great hiring for legal counsel, economic development positions. He had great mentorship under a woman chief.
11:03. Land Code has led to the development of other laws, including real matrimonial property law, dog nuisance, etc. A balance between people who want change and those who say you're moving too fast. Very challenging.
12:42 How does he find balance? Golf, basketball, year-round skating, taking kids fishing.
14:37 Land management helped with a big highway landing project and local infrastructure development. 49 acres of reserve land was needed to build out the highway. The band turned down lowball offers for land value. Land Code gave Band huge credibility and leverage.
Important to build homes and create a tax base for own-source revenues. And most important, $2 million in wages went to members! Many other jobs from Band-owned enterprises. Open for business at the speed of business.
24:00 Chief Sellars gets into the demographics of membership, located around the world. They've had great engagement with them, which is difficult, but vital. Land Code brought them together on a common cause.
25:50 He talks about the engagement strategy with the community, especially in light of Covid and the move to online spaces. He loves getting people into a room to meet face-to-face. Elders provide important advice, especially in the recent Kamloops tragedy and the investigations that will be required. All nations are included because they all had people go to that school.
29:30 Chief discusses his thoughts on 'decolonization'. He wants to see First Nations on a level playing field, but there is still discrimination, especially in an old-school town and municipalities need more education. Hard for them to accept new concepts, such as leasing on First Nations land. There is an awakening in Indian country. Yes, we can celebrate those children coming home, but there is so much more to do. People need to prove themselves by doing more than using the reconciliation buzzword.
32:50 A few jokes about golf and Richard signs off.
33:38 Episode ends
Williams Lake First Nation (T'exelcemc)
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Managem
Our 25th episode takes us to Coast Salish territory in British Columbia. Former chief Willie Charlie of Sts'ailes First Nation joins the show this week. Willie is currently a negotiator who has had a broad array of experience and perspective on the history of land use that is still rich in memory. Having watched the transition to land code, Willie says it is the protection of the environment has been a fundamental priority, law-making to deal with COVID-19, and easing into economic development and land use in the way the community is comfortable with - short term commitments that help balance revenue generation with the ongoing protection of land.
1:45 Willie tells us where his community is located, in a pristine valley about a two-hour drive east of Vancouver.
3:33 He had many opportunities to leave as a young man but wanted to keep his family in this way of life. He represented Canada.
4:39 He served on council prior to deciding to run for Chief. His role is quite different today in a 'non-political' role. Gives him added perspective. He had a varied career as a teacher, in corrections, and in his own business.
6:25 Willie says there were many examples of 'Big Brother' interfering with the Band, which helped spur interest in the Land Code. They were never compensated for logging in their territory.
8:10 Land Code has offered protection of the environment..good clean land, water, and air. They were able to create their own laws to govern the preservation of their lands. It now also offers the chance to seek business opportunities without having to seek approval in Victoria or Ottawa.
9:50 Additions to Reserve process has been very frustrating. Fifteen years over a road issue!
11:37 Land code is fairly new and Sts'ailes is off the beaten path, so they're moving slowly toward economic development. Now negotiating with BC and Canada on separate reconciliation agreements, which could mean more land to work with. Whatever is done the same approach should be taken with lands off-reserve in their traditional territory. Land code has helped pave the way.
13:52 Some pipe (not for the TransMountain Pipeline) being stored in a light industrial park, doing some milling and logging but new opportunities will come. The community wasn't comfortable with leasing out too much land. They negotiated a role to be involved in any cleanup since they know the land, rivers, and lakes so well.
18:20 Land Code is only 3 years old and there is much engagement as it ties into comprehensive community planning. The pandemic also meant they used their law-making ability to deal with Covid-19. They initiated a lockdown and restricted movement, which required adjustment as conditions changed. This was self-policed.
23:07 How the FNLMRC has helped guide the community through the land code process, especially with its knowledge of approaches across the country. Willie often talks with other communities about the Sts'ailes experience.
25:07 Willie shares his vision for the immediate future, especially moving toward self-governance. Land Code was an excellent step in that direction, along with FNFMB certification that allowed for 10-year grant funding. There will be bumps and mistakes, but at least they have the authority and control to address issues, not relying on others. Land Code is a significant step.
27:30 Listeners can contact him or Lands Manager Dawn Charlie.
28:00 Richard promotes Sts'ailes website.
Willie Charlie email: [email protected]
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Chairman of the Land Advisory Board Robert Louie is back on the show for a special extended episode in celebration of the 100th Land Code passed in Canada. Robert says "Land Decolonized" means a resurgence of Indian people, First Nations Land Management succeeds because it is community-driven, yet the main challenge has been to get the government to move faster. Robert notes his biggest inspiration to stand up in life being something his learned from his Grandmother
00:26 Richard introduces Robert Louie
1:38 Robert shares his excitement over recently marking the 101st community to approve its land code. He also shares what his colleagues were thinking as they first explored the idea.
3:21 Communities across Canada have shared good news after being recognized as governments without the interference of other levels. It is real governance authority. It's the future.
4:47 Robert describes his interpretation of decolonization as the dismantlement of the Indian Affairs bureaucracy, no longer prisoners, no longer considered inferior or less worthy. It had to change. Land decolonized is a resurgence of Indian people.
6:30 Does he have a strong personal reason for his mission? Yes, he saw things growing up and decided to follow his proud grandmother's lead to "stand up". People looked at them in a derogatory manner. Suppression was something they had to live with. Today feels like "liberation."
10:20 He heard so many charges of "You're selling out" that it made him furious, blaming opposition to land code on poor communication, often on purpose.
11:55 Land Governance Registration Act proposal is stalled and not likely to be dealt with until fall at the earliest. This would simplify the legislation and help avoid confusion over interpretation of the Act and the Framework Agreement itself.
13:46 Online workshops and training will be more common in the future as a result of the pandemic. Eg: the national conversation on Indigenous law enforcement. Band laws that protect community health need to be recognized and enforced, and we need to rely on the RCMP and provincial police to assist.
16:02 Funding is always an issue. Need to find resources and means of generating revenue in communities, requiring a further look at taxation opportunities.
17:12 Discussion of the integration of national organizations on land code, taxation, financial management and finance authority. This is their 3rd year, but Covid has impacted meetings. Still a desire to work together once Covid subsides.
19:00 Is the land code tidal movement spreading eastward? Yes! the 100th community is in Quebec, and land codes passed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and even Newfoundland and Labrador.
20:13 Robert explains why Indigenous people are used to collaborating and supporting each other through the land code process. "We're all in the same canoe and had better paddle in the same direction."
21:35 How has the movement stayed strong in strategic direction? He credits the fact that it is community-based. We want the good things that all Canadian do.
22:45 Biggest challenge ahead? Getting government to move quicker, for example, on the enforcement issue. The entrenchment of old policies needs to be cleared away. The biggest opportunity is that there is a clear option for communities can proceed with self-government. It took 25 years to reach 101 operational communities. He sees it speeding up in future years because the studies prove it's working well. Governance is at the crux of it.
25:30 A great story about Robert's grandmother challenging a bear and forcing it to stand down. He learned something that day, even as a three or four-year old, about not backing down or being afraid of challenges.
This week Richard sits down close to home with Rose Paul of Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation in Nova Scotia. Paqtnkek is currently a developmental community that is looking to have its land code ratification vote in the fall of 2021. Rose has walked her community through the process by engaging with many other communities and taking up many of the available options for self-government, all while planning for land management implementation and building a strong economic foundation for her community along the way.
:30 Richard's intro of Rose Paul, the driving force behind the land code process at Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation, 23 km east of Antigonish in Nova Scotia.
2:25 Rose describes how she got excited about the opportunities from the framework agreement and meeting with Robert Louie, chair.
3:30 Rose took Band staff and councillors to other Atlantic communities adopting the land code. They shared similar struggles with the Indian Act.
5:34 She says the key benefit is taking control of the systems to protect the environment and sacred sites while also planning for future development for seven generations.
7:32 A government letter that denied commercial development on the Band land across the highway continues to motive Rose. It spurred her on to confronting an unfair system.
10:12. Rose describes what now exists on land once forbidden - a $14 million travel centre that houses nine business entities with plans for more.
12:45 Rose credits sister First Nations with helping her along and introducing her to other national players such as the tax commission, finance authority, financial management board and others that work so well together. Great things began to happen once introduced to the land code process.
19:14 Rose really enjoys hearing the stories from this podcast series and is using it to reach out to others across Canada. She commends other communities for joining the process.
20:46 She has a bold vision for the next 7-10 years if the community ratifies the land code. Plans include a potential hotel, business centre, residential development, energy partnerships and other joint ventures operating at the speed of business.
23:25 Huge props to the resource centre team for their support and encouragement!
23:57 Richard's closing and thanks for making us #4 last month in the Apple Podcast rankings for Non-Profits in Canada!
Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation
Bayside Travel Centre at Paqtnkek
Rose Paul's email: [email protected]
The Resource Centre is thriving with a dedicated strategy for Training, Mentorship & Professional Development (TMPD). Angie Derrickson, TMPD Manager is on the show this week to explain the details of the strategies 4 year evolution, the webinars and “knowledge path tool” that are offered to First Nations.
00:53 Angie takes a break from giving a presentation to BC Links to Learning to speak with Richard about her work at the Resource Centre
1:57 Her role in delivering capacity support covers a broad program of courses, workshops and other training resources.
2:47 Angie describes the collaboration among staff and those within a developmental community from the time they sign a framework agreement and individual agreement with Canada.
3:50 Land registry is often a popular topic for early learning.
4:42 Her background was in land management, as senior lands officer at Westbank First Nation, which is now self-governing. Moving from the Indian Act to Land Code involved lots of transitional work. Her work gives her insights into the issues facing land managers today.
7:54 Understanding her audience is key to delivering training and explaining the legalities behind the framework agreement. Her team provides direct community support. Richard gives a shoutout to Danielle Allain of the Eastern Region for her work at Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation, now a developmental First Nation under the framework agreement.
10:00 The resource centre has save-the-date events between now and December 2021 to provide current training across the country. Topics can be changed to react to any developing 'breaking news' in the land code space. These are separate from any national online conversations that might be taking place.
12:23 The 'knowledge path tool' is fairly new and helps individuals and teams determine what kind of training they need. It's all about defining what a community wants to accomplish with their land code.
14:39 Her strategy is to make sure online tools are there from nations with experience to help others just starting out on their land code journey. She responds to new issues and developments that require training support.
15:54 Example: The change in community ratification processes now supports e-voting, so new training was required for that.
17:05 Angie encourages visits to the events page and to register. Workshops are open to all, not just signatory nations. She welcomes questions!
18:18 Richard promotes Events and Contact Us pages on the website.
Upcoming 'save-the-date' LABRC training events
Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management
Andrew Beynon and Richard discuss the upcoming (April 28th) National Online Conversation on Enforcement of Indigenous Government Laws 2021:First Nation Policing Program & Policy Update. (This episode was recorded one day before the online session.)
The online conversation will include Public Safety Canada and the RCMP providing an update on First Nation policing, including updates on Minister Bill Blair's mandate commitment to co-develop a legislative framework that will ensure that police services better reflect the communities they serve. In addition, this session will explore recent First Nation experiences with innovations in policing.
1:23 Richard provides a reminder of two previous Covid and legal podcasts featuring Andrew Beynon (Episode 3 and Episode 4 - December 2020)
2:15 Andrew talks about why talking about the Policing Program and Policy update was important and the issue of underenforcement or gaps in indigenous laws and how the "National Online Conversation" came to be.
3:40 Andrew summarizes the National Online Conversation events that occurred in 2020 and the content can still be accessed at www.indigenousenforcement.com - topics such as matrimonial property laws, COVID-19 laws, practical guidance for law enforcement, and broad level discussion on Indigenous justice (ft. UBC Chancellor Steven Lewis Point).
5:06 Richard and Andrew talk about the difficulty of enforcing laws and the common theme across Canada - the legacy of underenforcement of laws under the Indian Act (bylaws) on First Nations the progress made and the reality that enforcement of laws will always be an ongoing issue for First Nation Governments.
8:16 Andrew explains who this National Online Conversation event is made for people who work in the area of law enforcement, but also federal, provincial/territorial government officials, and has invited a decorated panel of representatives who have operated policing in First Nation communities.
11:03 Andrew explains further that this conversation is practical in nature, not academic, and the focus is on what are the things that are based on experience that First Nations would like to think about.
12:05 Andrew reiterates that for those who are unable to attend the online event in person to visit the dedicated website www.indigenousenforcement.com and todays session will be recorded and uploaded there, in addition to the monthly sessions coming up.
13:05 Andrew shares the best place to get in touch for more information on this topic is to follow the RC website www.labrc.com and him personally via email at [email protected]
13:36 Andrew adds information about the upcoming National Online Conversations: May will feature Saskatchewan pilot project on enforcement of First Nation laws and further interesting conversations in June, July and throughout the year.
After 2000 downloads of the podcast, our 20th episode takes us to the thriving community of Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia! Richard interviews Trevor Bernard, a lawyer, and Executive Director who has watched his community's transformation over the last 30 years. This community was the first in Nova Scotia to pass a land code and did so with a large amount of community engagement and a vision for prioritizing self-government initiatives and embracing a new level of jurisdiction. This approach has been a compliment to their growing business presence and strategy for making Membertou a true destination in the region.
1:19 Trevor describes Membertou's location within Sydney, Cape Breton.
2:26 Membertou bought parcels of land that were once its home community before a forced re-location.
3:24 As ED, he oversees most of the band's government programs and provides legal counsel and is experienced in the land code process. He oversees the lands department. Became operational in 2019. Began exploring the process in 2010 and became developmental in 2012.
5:54 Why it took longer than first thought to become 'operational'.
7:35 Trevor describes their unique approach to community education over the framework agreement. It all started with talks over a connector road. Membertou was developing its brand as 'a destination' with subsequent business interests who wanted to locate there. Key was to assert more jurisdiction outside the Indian Act.
10:14 Formation of a governance committee open to all members. That group took ownership and helped inform others about the framework agreement.
14:45 There was some concern about banks' ability to foreclose but people were reassured that it was not part of land code.
16:49 Trevor went to law school in 1991 and thought he would never return due to poverty and indebtedness. Not much was going on. Then - the transformation! More fiscal resources meant less reliance on Ottawa.
20:25 Land Code lays down values and principles around land management so it is crucial to other laws, certificate of possession, zoning, etc.
23:20 Additions to reserve and aggressive residential development.
25:26 Now with the ability to operate at the speed of business. Eg: Hampton Inn development.
28:50. His predictions over the future now that 100th community is about to go operational. Gives shoutout to Resource Centre staff for their help and expertise. Membertou would not be there in land management without them!
31:36 Richard's extra and call-to-action.
Email: [email protected]
First Nation Land Management Resource Centre: labrc.com
Membertou First Nation website: https://membertou.ca/
James Cada from Mississauga First Nation joins the show this week. This Land Advisory Board member is a 30 year veteran of land management and his community of Mississauga First Nation enjoyed a smooth transition to self-government over their lands with many benefits and along the way.
1:52 Jim describes his experience with the Land Code in his capacity as director of operations. Phil Goulais, Austin Bear and Robert Louie played key roles.
2:45 Had a draft land code by 2003. Tells the story of a road that was a critical element. Wasn't passed until 2009.
4:03 No issues with land registry. There were no Certificate of Possession (CP) on the occupied land base and no surveys.
4:48 The land code has led to several laws, including waste management, noise bylaw, community protection (important in Covid management in a small community.)
6:11. Had only .16 acres of land when the code was passed! But added land later.
8:14 History of having land use plan covering historic and sacred sites to protect. That stalled but community is still working on it. Covid has affected consultation.
9:51 Comments on approaching 100 operational communities within the framework agreement. A long way from those original 14! "We are in charge" and no longer having to deal with ISC.
11:16 Jim enjoys speaking in other communities about the benefits of land code.
12:20 He sees much improved relationships with businesses, especially Hydro and Union Gas.
13:11 Jim developed a good rapport with Resource Centre staff and has great things to say about the level of support.
14:12 Bill Henderson and other legal counsel have been great.
14:33. The best way to contact Jim is by email at the Band office.
15:03 Richard promotes upcoming shows.
Chief Maureen Chapman joins the show this week from Sq'ewa:lxw First Nation (BC). Chief Chapman is a First Nation Land Advisory Board Member and proud to have been a hereditary Chief since 1999. Chief Chapman says having been put on a waitlist due to the demand for First Nations to get into the land code process gave her community the time to create a vision for how the land code could help bring economic development, create housing and employment opportunities for her people in the future. A lesser-known fact about the territory she lives in is that it is known and a recorded site for Sasquatch sightings!
0:40 Maureen describes where her community is located near the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs and the makeup of her community.
1:25 Maureen describes moving back to the community later in life to finish University and help the community
2:19 Speaks to why the land code was an attractive option, having to be put on a waitlist due to the demand from First Nations and the opportunity to learn more and plan for what they would do when they have the chance to pass a land code.
3:11 Younger people from land code communities feel a debt to land code communities that have come before them, setting the foundation for this work
4:11 Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) land code was passed in 2010 with unanimous support.
4:25 There are Myths around land codes impacting treaties for instance, but Chief Chapman sights that its probably a lack of knowledge and clarity about what is a treaty versus what is a land code
4:57 Sq'ewa:lxw land code was repealed twice and replaced with a newer version which was due to the learning curve of implementing a land code from the ground up. The changes and refinement were to ensure they were confident they could recommend this approach to the community members.
5:50 Maureen agrees that managing heritage sites and environmental protection is important to the community and goes further getting out from the control of the Indian Act was of utmost importance to the protection of sites of cultural importance and ec-dev.
6:47 Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation is involved in both treaty negotiations with the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association (SXTA) and the Additions to Reserve process. Sq'ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) is one of 6 communities in the SXTA that are in stage 5 of the process. The additional lands the Additions to Reserve process will bring much needed land for economic development, business, housing and long-term care facility for elders.
8:12 Sq'ewa:lxw recently benefitted from a specific claim which helped with leverage to borrow money for future projects.
8:38 Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park (opened Sept. 14, 2018) was created as a place for youth and community members and public at large to enjoy with playground, bike skills park and the challenges of this opening*
9:23 Maureen explains the challenge of keeping members in the community and providing work opportunities and the result of members living off-reserve, thus the hope to grow more business in the community.
10:10 25th Anniversary of the Framework Agreement is exciting and a testament that success comes from hard work
11:26 Maureen explains what she would say to other communities considering a land code " it opens the door to so much more" including much-needed land protection laws
12:54 to get in touch with her is through Sq'ewa:lxw office 604-796-9129
13:46 Maureen closes with an interesting fact that her lands at Ruby Creek are known for Sasquatch sightings!
* an article about the opening of Syéxw Chó:leqw Adventure Park can be found here: https://www.hopestandard.com/entertainment/new-skawahlook-adventure-park-encourages-nature-filled-family-fun/
Richard welcomes Steven Roy Johnston to the show this week. Being a Land Advisory Board member and Councillor for Mistawasis First Nation Steven comes from a long line of community leaders, and from one of the largest First Nations in Canada. Having taken on a land code fairly recently in 2017, Steven speaks to the continued protection of treaties with a land code, and the need for planning 7 generations ahead. Having a deep appreciation for the history of the community Steven believes the leadership has adapted to change and growing the community with strong economic development and a bigger better future for his community and the many others that will take on a land code in the future.
00:29 Steven's family history of chiefs
2:12 Myth of treaties being affected by Land Code
2:30 Steven describes his community's land base, which is mostly agricultural
4:00 Successful resolution of Specific Land Claim adds 18,000 acres
5:48 New property for a gas station and further developments
7:31. How he advocates for Land Code as a prairie director of LAB
9:29 Importance of treaties being protected and holding government accountable to its fiduciary duties
15:24 Growth of outside business interest in joint opportunities due to Land Code, including mining, civil and electrical engineering and value of good governance and stability
18:30 He describes community demographics with total population of 29,000
20:07 Using radio, email, podcasts and Zoom to communicate effectively, especially during pandemic
23:00 Significance of 25th anniversary and 100 operational communities.
25:11 How to contact him. (see below)
25:50. Congratulates other bands, leaders, FNLMRC staff, Robert Louie and Austin Bear
26:35. Richard's call-to-action with links and thanks for Apple milestone of 4th in Canada for non-profits
Councillor Steven Roy Johnston - [email protected]
Mistawasis Nehiyawak First Nation
First Nation Lands Management Resource Centre
First Nation Lands Advisory Board
This week Richard speaks to Joe Hall, Grand Chief of the Sto:lo Nation and former chief of Tzeachten First Nation. Having been impressed with the evolution of First Nations who have taken on a land code, positive change in the working relationships with local governments, planning and implementing land management processes, and putting control for self-government in the hands of the people have made all the difference for his community.
00:48 Joe describes community
1:24 How the land code has evolved over the years as communities take control of land management. Life prior to land code involved many delays in federal approval for the simplest of bylaws. Way too much red tape with the Indian Act.
3:12 Economic windows don’t stay open very long. Investors and developers can’t wait.
4:48 After land code in 2008, relationships with municipalities and the province. There was more respect for the ability to manage land on their own.
6:21 How nervous was he on the day of the ratification vote?
8:52 How council educated membership about the framework agreement and custom land code.
10:26 Curse of too many certificates of possession. LC brought about a process for rezoning.
11:29 How a land code brought about a change in community attitudes, social progress, and economic development. Must be a way to share concerns.
14:28 Importance of revisions to the legislation that lies on top of the framework agreement. Simplicity is required.
17:15 The rise of youth leadership to follow the early land code pioneers. They understand the importance of taking control of taxation, financial management, land, etc.
20:34 Impact of the pandemic on working with developmental First Nations. Zoom technology playing a role but nothing beats face-to-face communication.
22:22 Joe’s reflection on 25th anniversary of land code and closing in on 100 operational communities. Praises staff for making the process user-friendly. The process for smaller communities is much more inviting. Very excited about the future!
25:53 Joe is excited to promote land code during his retirement.
26:10 Richard promotes website, email and toll-free access to the Resource Centre.
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
This week Richard speaks with Chief Darcy Bear of Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan. Having been a leader for the past 30 years, he says land code governance helped his community to move at the speed of business, with a casino, hotel, and golf course development and significant infrastructure that will support the community for generations.
01:42 Why Whitecap Dakota FN embraced the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management and the Land Code process. Fighting paternalism and lack of opportunity.
3:13 Remembers stories from his grandparents who raised him about the days of Indian Agents, permits and the Indian Affairs "dictatorship."
4:00 Connecting with Robert Louie of Westbank back in the early days of the Framework Agreement.
5:02 His Nation saw the benefits of a land code, especially when it saw huge delays in getting ministerial sign-off for a golf course development. It took three years!
6:03 His Saskatoon Tribal Council involvement in a casino project, and the ability in a land code to offer 99-year leases for commercial development.
7:20 He lists the many financial institutions now doing business in the community.
8:03 The huge infrastructure investments required to support new commercial and residential development.
9:58 The land code has given his community greater creativity and flexibility to operate at the speed of business.
13:00 Using own-source revenues to fund community culture and education.
14:03. Ongoing challenges of trying to find collateral to support individuals going into business.
16:15 There was a time when the Band didn't have a dime in its bank account. From there to $150 million in capital investments!
18:58 Chief Bear's perspective on the 25th anniversary of the Framework Agreement.
20:41 The sad history of lack of development despite location near the city of Saskatoon.
23:50 Collaborating with other governments to build a tourism corridor from Saskatoon to Lake Diefenbaker.
25:30 The history of alliances at Whitecap Dakota and the strange treatment of those who fought alongside the British.
Whitecap Dakota First Nation
Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Chief Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation is the guest on the show this week. He has watched his community grow out of tough economic conditions and utilized a land code and many tools of First Nation self-governance to provide a bright future of economic prosperity, protecting treaty rights and the environment. By comparison, Chief Sinclair says, staying under the Indian Act is akin to "an economic sanction"
00:26 Richard Perry introduces the episode and guest Chief Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayal Cree Nation in Manitoba (Treaty 5 territory).
01:25 Chief mentions response to Covid-19 scare in OCN.
02:52 When OCN was entering land code, he was serving overseas with the Canadian military and was not interested in politics, but is thankful leadership did the right thing.
03:44 Land code supported huge growth from 500 to more than 6,300 residents. It was required to fund infrastructure and business growth.
05:19 He was a personal victim of Indian Act delays when he tried to open a pizza shop.
06:27 OCN was close to 3rd party management and going bankrupt, so drastic changes were needed. Strong synergies among Land Code plus First Nations Finance Authority and First Nations Financial Management Board.
08:55 Youth engagement includes youth chief and councillors.
09:58 Credits leadership with taking on land code and praises national collaboration.
10:48 OCN land code includes very strong environmental protection and concern for traditional ways.
11:45 There have been some concerns to deal with, including fear over losing treaty rights. In fact, land code enhances treaty rights.
12:25 Overview of OCN own-source revenues since the economic turnaround.
14:45 He pinches himself everyday over their success and sees future growth.
16:04 OCN went big into the cannabis business.
17:41 Where Chief Sinclair sees his community five years from now. The days of million-dollar deficits are long gone. Continued synergies with national Indigenous organizations.
19:48 Reflections on national leaders and 25th anniversary.
21:38 Richard closes the show by promoting labrc.com.
Opaskwayak Cree Nation
First Nation Lands Management Resource Centre
Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management
First Nations Finance Authority
First Nations Financial Management Board
Richard speaks with long-standing Land Advisory Board member and former Chief of Nipissing First Nation, Phil Goulais. Phil was a part of the creation of the Framework Agreement and championed one of the earliest at Nipissing. Having been involved from the beginning, Phil is confident that the youth will carry on the great work of self-government, and that Framework Agreement communities' tendency to help each other out is one of the greatest strengths of the land code process.
1:03 The meeting in Hull, Quebec that led Nipissing to pursue the framework agreement.
3:10 Important work to acknowledge the inherent right to manage lands and resources. Doing away with 'delegated authority' under federal legislation.
4:42 Biggest issue in the north is the loss of youth. New opportunities from land code help bring them home.
6:35 His experience in a small home compared to the new size of family homes today in residential developments.
7:32 He is encouraged by youth today and their understanding of the value of land code.
10:00 Describes community size and demographics. Senior population is growing and needs more services.
12:15 Employment has skyrocketed since the 1970s. Funding for new social, cultural and educational programs. Nipissing also settled the Boundary Land Claim.
14:25 Phil expresses his pride in resource centre staff, band staff, chiefs and councils for being willing to help at a moment's notice.
15:59 Confident that youth will work hard to eliminate further sections of the Indian Act and move to full self-governance.
17:30 How the band lost 16 business opportunities due to Indian Act delays.
19:10 There is a move afoot to repeal the Land Management Act to remove impediments. "There is enough teeth in the Framework Agreement."
21:43 Describes funding available to communities for each step in the land code process.
23:13 Communities need strong committees for land code management, including managing other laws that are enacted.
24:30 Tribal Council are great at word-of-mouth promotion of benefits/challenges of land code. Lots of money going into the economy, as cited by KPMG study. (see link below)
27:25 Great pride in 25th anniversary...starting with 13 communities in 1996 to almost 100.
Nipissing First Nation
Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
KPMG Benefits (2014) on First Nations Land Management
This week Richard speaks with Chief Leah George-Wilson from Tsleil-Waututh Nation on the Burrard Inlet of BC's West Coast. A lawyer, and Land Advisory Board Member says that the main reason for taking on a land code in her community was "to eliminate 25% of the Indian Act from her community."Richard learns about the balanced approach that the Tsleil Waututh community takes to implement the day-to-day land management responsibilities. For Tsleil- Waututh a land code has helped bring youth to the table, realize the importance of planning, new business ventures, and strengthening Tsleil-Waututh Nation's land protection priorities
00:50. 25th anniversary of Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management is "amazing tool".
1:22. On the cusp of having 100 operational First Nations with their own land codes.
2:15. Her background in the community, education and law degree at UBC.
2:55. Why a land code? Development opportunities were taking far too long.
4:01. Value of having a local land code committee and involvement of youth in community engagement.
7:00. Being active in the BC treaty process also included the push to a land code.
8:00. Protection of lands is paramount, including opposition to the TMX pipeline project.
9:42. Addressing concerns about land code and need for community support.
11:40. Chief's main selling point in favour of Framework Agreement - eliminate 25% of the Indian Act.
13:16. Covid pandemic has affected Band exploration of cannabis opportunities.
14:20. Importance of continued land use planning, explaining zoning, etc.
16:40. Other ventures include eco-tourism, canoe and kayak tours, forestry.
18:50. Importance of setting anger aside and to find creative solutions to challenges.
19:58. Successfully building community capacity.
21:17. Contact information
Tsleil Waututh Nation website.
Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management
Special Episode: this week we are launching a new podcast series to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management. This episode is a special extended interview with former chief of Muskoday First Nation and Resource Centre Chairman Austin Bear. Richard explores Austin's prairie upbringing and leadership with Muskoday First Nation that saw him lead his community with one of the first-ever land codes to be implemented in Canada.
00:26 Richard Perry introduction
1:43 Austin Bear remarks on the significance of 25th anniversary of the framework agreement.
3:20 Austin shares stories of the early days, starting with the nations that lost their delegated authority under the Indian Act.
5:33 A key turning point: the Liberal Red Book did not recognize the inherent right to land.
7:22 The signing between the original nations and Government of Canada.
7:56 Austin recounts how the Land Code was at first quite controversial due to mistrust of federal and provincial governments.
12:54 Why Muskoday decided to pursue a Land Code in light of Indian Act control and devastating impact of Indian Agents.
14:35 Austin's boyhood memory of his father needing Indian Agent permits before he could sell farm products to support his family. He still has the old tin box his father left him.
17:19 The importance of doing business "at the speed of business."
18:30 Muskoday is approached to host a manufacturing company from Kansas, but Indian Act delays killed it.
21:39 Additions to Reserves process still unwieldy and costing opportunities, including Muskoday First Nation to this day.
22:30 Receiving 'shortfall acres' through Treaty Land Entitlement, but can't get ATR approved!
24:45 On the cusp of having 100th operational FN under Land Code - another milestone.
27:06 The value of a community-driven process as opposed to being directed by Chief and Council.
27:58 A land code will work for a community of any size - whether 50 or 5,000 members. Location can be a factor, but key benefit is taking control over land and resources.
29:54 Early on, he had to debunk myths that the framework agreement would surrender treaties.
32:50 The Indian Act has nothing to do with treaty implementation, but a Land Code will help.
34:20 Austin shares his appreciation for LAB colleagues, FNLMRC staff and many others for making Land Code work, especially for the guidance and prayers of Elders.
36:00 Austin provides the best methods of contacting him for more information.
37:50 Richard closes show promoting Facebook, website and podcast subscription options.
38:18 Episode ends.
First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management
Muskoday First Nation
Westbank First Nation
In this week's episode, Richard connects with Meko Nicholas, Executive Director of the First Nation Land Management Resource Centre. Meko has worked on the Framework Agreement with the founding First Nations from its early beginnings. Meko shares his approach to "follow the lead of First Nations" as the key to the direction of the Resource Centre, its philosophy of hiring expertise that compliments First Nation needs, and fostering coordination between like-minded First Nation organizations.
This week Richard speaks to Jason Campbell - a First Nation Land Advisory Board Director and Executive Director of Seabird Island Band in Agassiz, British Columbia. Jason speaks to how the land code came to Seabird Island, with the appeal being the ability to balance the protection of their lands with planned land use for agriculture and a business park
Making a connection from coast to coast, Richard who calls home in Nova Scotia speaks with Chief Gordon Planes from T'Souke First Nation on the far west coast of British Columbia. As a Land Advisory Board member and leader of his community, Chief Planes says control over Indigenous land is critical to saving the environment. Chief Planes speaks the traditions of his community, and the 100 year plan for protecting the land with a modern-day land code -and it's only the beginning to a better way.
*mentioned in this episode: to learn more about the T'Sou-ke First Nation please go to their website here: http://www.tsoukenation.com/