Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANO)

As the Standing Committee for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development continues its study of land use and sustainable economic development, it heard this week from members of the Mohawk Nation and the Atlantic Policy Congress on their views regarding the capacity gaps that are preventing effective environmental regulation from being enforced and advanced on reserve land, as well as their reflections on the First Nations Lands Management Act, an alternative to the Indian Act’s provisions for land use issues.

Recurrent themes arose around the need to attain steady and increased levels of funding. The ability to build on the current successes and to rectify programs identified as underperforming depends heavily on the availability of funds, which, at this time, is both insufficient and unpredictable. Enhancing community participation will create a broader sense of ownership. Drawing on the link between higher quality education and long-term economic growth, attention needs to be paid to expanding training efforts to ensure sustainable capacity development for First Nations communities.