Building on the FMA
The First Nations Fiscal Management Act (FMA) is First Nation-led legislation that established the First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC), the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) and the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA). Interested First Nations are able to opt-into this regulatory framework. In the last 10 years, 230 First Nations have opted into the FMA because it increases their revenues, creates investor and member confidence in their financial management systems, provides them cheaper access to long term infrastructure financing and expands and protects their fiscal jurisdictions.
The First Nations Lands Management Act (FNLMA) is also First Nation led legislation. It establishes the framework to assume lands jurisdiction and creates the lands management resource center to support participating First Nations. 153 First Nations have opted into this framework and over 100 are waiting to join. They are opting in because the framework allows them to assume land management jurisdiction and to potentially reduce the costs and time of transactions on their lands in support of greater investment.
These optional legislative frameworks have been successful for six reasons.
- They respect the right of self determination for every participating First Nation. This respect for freedom of choice reduced their legislative consultation requirements.
- They require a political or community commitment to the framework. This reduced the time and costs associated with implementing standards, laws and templates.
- They provide tangible jurisdictional and economic benefits to communities and members. Realizing these benefits in the short term explain the FMA’s growth.
- They provide the institutional support to assume jurisdictions using effective capacity support and capacity development models.
- The institutions in these frameworks are constantly seeking innovations and improvements to ensure more First Nation opt into the framework.
- They create a group of participating First Nations and the necessary institutional support to advance improvements to their frameworks, such as the proposed FNII.