AFN-Ottawa working group calling for focus on resource royalty revenue sharing

An Ottawa-funded working group on natural resource development and First Nations is recommending a deeper exploration of resource revenue sharing.

APTN National News
OTTAWA—An Ottawa-funded working group on natural resource development and First Nations is recommending a deeper exploration of resource revenue sharing.

The Working Group on Natural Resources Development released its report, Advancing Positive, Impactful Change, on Tuesday after over a year of study.

The report’s main recommendation centres on resource revenue sharing, which would see First Nations, provinces and Ottawa share the spoils of mining and energy developments.

“We strongly urge that the next roundtable focus exclusively on resource revenue sharing, an urgent and pressing issue for this country and all First Nations,” says the report. “The federal government can facilitate this dialogue by convening, in partnership with First Nations, a national meeting among all jurisdictions, supported by technical experts.”

The report recommends the creation of “an independent resource centre” that could be used by First Nation, business and governments.

“The information collected and shared, including among First Nations, will help advance understanding, planning and decision-making,” said the report. “Types of information and advisory capacity shared would address governance capacity, best practices skills, knowledge-sharing, markets, finances, environment and geology.”

The report also recommends “an international meeting” within the next year to help First Nations access foreign markets.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed the report’s recommendations.

“This is an issue that is critical to First Nations and all Canadians and any movement forward must respect and recognize First Nations rights and title,” said Bellegarde. “First Nations need to be involved in resource development during all phases. We bring the added element of ensuring the protection of lands and waters.  Sustainable economic development is what we want.”

The working groups was created in December 2013 as a joint AFN-Aboriginal Affairs initiative. Aboriginal Affairs provided funding for the group’s work.

Members of the group included AFN regional chief for Alberta Cameron Alexis, former TD Bank deputy chairman Douglas Turnbull, former president of the Gwich’in Tribal Council Richard Nerysoo, businessman Patrick McGuinness and Roger Augustine, AFN regional chief for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The report has been sent to both Aboriginal Affairs and AFN.

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