News Release Article from  Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Archived - Minister Valcourt and First Nations celebrate progress on First Nations Governance

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

First Nations Elections Act to provide the foundation for First Nations to elect strong, stable and transparent governments

April 22, 2014 - Moncton, NB - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

On hand for the Bill C-9 celebration in Moncton, NB were, from left to right, Chief Dean Vicaire, Listuguj First Nation and co-chair, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs (APCFNC); Chief Ron Evans, Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba; Hon. Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; AFN Regional Chief Morley Googoo; APC executive Director, John G. Paul; and Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Robert Goguen.

See more photos in our Photo Gallery.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt was joined by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs (APC) and Chief Ron Evans (Norway House Cree Nation) in recognising the passing into law of the First Nations Elections Act with a celebratory event in New Brunswick. The new Act will provide a robust election framework that will help develop the stable First Nation governance necessary to improve economic development opportunities and build prosperous communities.

The First Nations Elections Act was drafted based on recommendations from the APC and other First Nation organizations; it will provide a strong legislated alternative for First Nations elections.

The Act addresses longstanding issues with the current electoral system under the Indian Act. First Nations who opt-in will have access to modern electoral provisions including:

  • longer terms of office;
  • more robust nomination processes;
  • defined penalties;
  • a common election day for interested First Nations; and
  • removal of the Minister’s role in election appeals.

Minister Valcourt also re-affirmed the Government of Canada and the APC will work together on the development of regulations, which is the next step in the implementation of the First Nations Elections Act.

Quick facts

  • The First Nations Elections Act received Royal Assent on April 11, 2014.
  • Currently, of the 617 First Nations in Canada, 238 hold elections under the Indian Act and the Indian Band Election Regulations. This opt-in legislation will provide these First Nations with an alternative legislated election system that addresses many of the weaknesses of the Indian Act election system.
  • The First Nations Elections Act is a concrete example of working in partnership and collaboration with willing partners to support strong, stable, and effective governance.
  • In the past year, five key pieces of legislation related to First Nations have received Royal Assent and have been passed into law, and will contribute to increasing the quality of life for First Nation people across Canada.

Quotes

“The First Nations Elections Act will help create the foundation for strong, accountable and transparent First Nation governments thanks to the efforts of all of our partners. I look forward to continuing to work with the APC in the shared mission to help provide First Nations across Canada with the political stability necessary for solid business investments, long term planning and relationship building.”

- Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

“Elections are an issue of critical importance in our communities and this new Act will allow many positive changes.”

- John G. Paul, Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs

“The modernization of the election system for our First Nation Governments has been a cause near and dear to the hearts of the Atlantic Policy Congress. We believe it will help all of us to build confidence in our governance and assist in the pursuit of economic development goals.”

- Chief Dean Vicaire, Interim Co-Chair for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs

“The First Nations Elections Act will be the catalyst for creating stable and credible governance systems, will strengthen self-governance and allow First Nations to move forward on important initiatives and the necessary social and economic changes to improve the quality of life for First Nations.”

- Chief Ron Evans, Norway House Cree Nation

Related products

Additional links

Contacts

Erica Meekes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
819-953-1160

Follow us on Twitter: @AANDCanada

 

Search for related information by keyword

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Law Government and Politics

Date modified: