Metlakatla is in the process of ratifying a Land Code and, if passed, Metlakatla will join dozens of other First Nations from across the country in taking back control of our reserve lands.
But what about the other First Nations who have passed Land Codes? Has it made a difference? Is it better than the current system under the antiquated Indian Act? The answer is a resounding yes, according to a 2014 study by world-renowned audit firm KPMG* .
The study looked at the experience of 32 other First Nations who have implemented a Land Code, ranging from bands as far away as Ontario to the neighbouring Kitselas and Haisla First Nations. The study, which included responses from 2009 and 2013, found overwhelmingly positive effects of having a Land Code in place. Among KPMG’s findings were the following:
- Governing under a Land Code was found to help First Nations achieve the overall vision of their communities.
- NONE of the 32 First Nations surveyed had a desire to revert back to the Indian Act.
- Land governance activities are completed significantly faster under a Land Code than under the Indian Act — in some cases up to 72-times faster.
- Many of the First Nations said their ability to protect community values and legal interests were improved once the Land Code was approved.
- The number of registered land transactions completed would have been significantly lower under the Indian Act than the Land Code.
- First Nations under Land Code found improved relationships with investors, financial institutes and municipal governments.
- The Land Code had increased potential for economic development, with a number of nations reporting an increase in business opportunities on-reserve and most businesses being member-owned.
For more on the Metlakatla Land Code, including which lands are included and the benefits to the Metlakatla Nation, visit www.metlakatla.ca
*For the full study visit https://labrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014-FNLM-AGM-KPMG-Presenta...