OTTAWA, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, introduced legislation which also passed third reading in the House of Commons. Bill C-16 will give effect to the first-ever self-government agreement in the Prairies and will now move to the Senate for consideration.
"This historic legislation shows the positive and concrete results that can be achieved through joint work between Canada and First Nations," said Minister Valcourt. "Today marks an important milestone towards modernizing Canada's relationship with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and providing the community with the tools and authority to build a more self-sufficient and prosperous future."
"Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is excited about the opportunities now possible with our self-government agreement being presented to the Parliament of Canada for passage," said Chief Vincent Tacan of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. "This historic agreement is very important to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, and signals to our membership the opportunity of participating and enjoying the benefits of being able to chart our own course, make laws that are important to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, and provide for Sioux Valley Dakota Nation to exercise self-governance. We also look forward to continuing positive relationships with both the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba."
This self-government agreement will provide Sioux Valley Dakota Nation with the authority to make laws affecting its community in over 50 subject areas. This includes governance, economic and social development, education, housing and more. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation laws will be harmonized with existing federal and provincial laws and exercised within the Canadian constitutional framework.
Once this agreement with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is brought into effect, the Government of Canada will have concluded 20 comprehensive self-government agreements with 34 Aboriginal communities. Promoting good governance and strong accountability in First Nation communities can help improve living conditions and foster a positive climate for investment and economic development.
SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada