The George Gordon First Nation has become the latest Saskatchewan band to sign onto the First Nations Land Management Regime.
A total of 69 First Nations have now joined the program.
The regime allows bands to opt out of 34 sections of the Indian Act in a bid to get more control over their territory.
Chief Shawn Longman says signing onto the act was a no-brainer.
Longman feels the main advantage is that it allows the band to recoup money it earns from development projects instead of sending it to Ottawa first:
“The number one benefit is any revenue usually generated off our land goes to a trust fund in Ottawa and we have to apply for that money back. While that money is sitting in Ottawa, it’s not earning any interest. So, now, the money will stay with the First Nation and will be there available for us.”
Longman says investments can also be made in short order.
He says one of the most satisfying things is that they’re not always asking for permission on how to spend money they’ve earned.