COAST SALISH TERRITORIES/VANCOUVER, B.C. – A share in provincial gaming revenue is now going to First Nations communities to help support their self-government and build strong healthy services and communities.
An Announcement from the BC Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, are working together as the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC).
With the Province, they are co-developing new legislation for introduction in 2019. Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in B.C. to aid a central piece of the Budget 2019 to support reconciliation.
The joint announcement was made by the provincial government and First Nations Leadership Council at the annual B.C. Cabinet-First Nations Leaders’ Gathering. Both have been working together to develop concrete actions to advance reconciliation together, with new legislation and gaming revenue sharing as top priorities.
The Province’s commitment to gaming revenue sharing starts with $2 million in immediate support to establish a B.C. First Nations gaming distribution limited partnership, which will manage the new revenue.
The First Nations Gaming Commission has been in negotiations with the Province over the past year on a model to implement gaming revenue sharing. For decades, First Nations leaders have advocated for a share of gaming revenue.
“Undoubtedly this is a momentous occasion for all First Nations in the Province of B.C.,” said Grand Chief Joe Hall, First Nations lead negotiator and past chair of the BC First Nations Gaming Commission. “We have worked at this for many, many years and now we have finally arrived at an agreement that will see much-needed revenue from gaming shared with all the First Nations communities of B.C. The countless stories that we heard about how the revenue will make a significant difference in our communities was both heart-warming and inspirational. Our negotiating team is so pleased that this government has by demonstration addressed and resolved this specific long-standing unfairness. It bodes well for the reconciliation efforts in this province.”
“UN declaration legislation and gaming revenue sharing are important steps forward to advance true and lasting reconciliation, and create certainty and opportunity for First Nations and the province as a whole,” said Premier Horgan. “Sharing gaming revenues will mean First Nations have the ability to invest in the services and infrastructure healthy communities need – child care, supports for new mothers, housing, road upgrades and economic development to create a better future for everyone in B.C.”
“We are committing to work together with First Nations throughout B.C. in ways we never have before, to take bold steps that truly support self-government and self-determination,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “For the first time, the B.C. government will be sharing gaming revenues with First Nations, for the benefit of every nation across this province.”
For more information on the shared vision, guiding principles, goals and objectives CLICK HERE