+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 1-01S

First Nations Task Force

January 1, 2001
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2004
Active Status:
Vote Results:
Carried as amended

WHEREAS local governments are responsible for the delivery of many key services to their residents and the delivery of these services is contingent upon the municipalitys ability to access property tax revenues through assessment of the local land base;AND WHEREAS First Nations are increasing their efforts to control land and development of both renewable and non-renewable resources located off-reserve;AND WHEREAS the Provincial Government has entered into Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with numerous First Nations without the input or consent of affected municipalities;AND WHEREAS local governments are not allowed to participate when land claims and other treaty entitlements are negotiated;AND WHEREAS the resolution of aboriginal land claims and treaty entitlements and the implementation of Memorandums of Understanding which provide First Nations with effective control over local land bases can result in significant impacts on the financial resources available to local municipal governments.

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties establish a Member Advisory Committee on First Nation Issues, to develop recommendations aimed at ensuring that provincial and federal aboriginal policy, and any new agreements with First Nations, do not create undue hardship for local municipal governments and affected communities;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, alone and/or in partnership with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Federation of Canadian Municipalities, urge the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada to directly involve municipal representation, either through the municipal associations or directly through the affected municipality, in all future land claims and resource negotiations.

Member Background:

The provincial government has entered into a series of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with numerous First Nations across the province, most of which are located in the north. These were intended as a device to allow input into the control of only renewable resources such as air, land water, forest, fish, wildlife, parks and natural areas but have ballooned into an effective tool to control the use of large tracts of land located off of Indian reserves. Often these agreements are tied to multi-million dollar timber allocations that bring substantial timber royalty revenue to the bands. These agreements are signed by the provincial Minister of Environment and Aboriginal Affairs, and are then being used by the First Nations as a tool to control not only the forest industry, but the energy industry as well. Coupled with the Supreme Courts decision regarding respect for traditional native lands, these MOUs are effectively enabling the First Nations to increase their control over the development of the oil and gas sector.

RMA Background:

Resolution 1-00F calls for a public hearing process prior to the addition of any land to existing or new First Nations reserves. In response, the Government of Canada has advised that a stakeholder consultation process regarding the addition of reserve lands is currently in place.Resolution 13-99F calls for the Government of Alberta to clearly exercise its authority over Crown land in Alberta to ensure a level playing field for all those who wish to participate in opportunities or activities relating to those lands. The Government of Alberta adopted a new Aboriginal Policy in the fall of 2000, which contains statements which appear to address the request contained in Resolution 13-99F.With respect to the general issue of forming Member Advisory Committees, the AAMDC has established several such committees in recent years at the request of members, with very positive results. The financial cost of these committees is generally in the range of $1,000 to $2,500 per meeting, dependent upon the number of representatives on the committee.

Provincial Ministries:
International and Intergovernmental Affairs
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