IN 2009, the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre and Canada commisioned KPMG to compare the costs and benefits to the Government of Canada of administering reserve land under the Indian Act with the costs and benefits to First Nations governing their lands under the Framework Agreement. A sample of 17 First Nations was selected. At the time of the study, these First Nations had been operating under a Land Code for several years.
The KPMG study indicated that, for many of the operational First Nations interviewed, there had already been a 40% increase in new businesses by band members, there was a 45% increase in the types of businesses and businesses in new sectors, including supplier businesses and spin-off businesses.
In addition, the 2009 data indicates that these First Nations are:
Experiencing a shift in the quality of jobs available on reserve and these opportunities require higher levels of education.
Attracting significant internal investment through member owned enterprises.
Providing more than 2000 employment opportunities for band members thereby significantly reducing dependence on social programming; and
Providing more than 10,000 employment opportunities for non-members thereby pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies.
The KPMG analysis confirms that First Nations with direct control over their reserve lands and resources under the Framework Agreement are making decisions at the speed of business, which is essential for economic development. The study has listed some of the many benefits of land governance under the Framework Agreement including:
Better relationships with third parties due to direct involvement with the First Nations, increased sense of certainty for third-parties and a better negotiating environment.
Better market opportunities through enhanced communications, ability to compete, timing and implementation of instruments and better relationships with industries and municipalities.
Better circumstances to attract business to reserves through direct access to First Nation representatives, increased sense of security to investors and simplified processing conditions.
For the full text of the KPMG report, go to https://labrc.com/resources/framework-agreement/