former Associate Director of the Fraser Institute's Centre for Aboriginal Policy Studies
Ravina Bains is the former Associate Director of the Fraser Institute's Centre for Aboriginal Policy Studies. She previously served as director of policy for the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Ravina holds an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a CN Scholar, as well as an MA in Asian Pacific Policy Studies from the University of British Columbia.
A First Nations person on reserve does not enjoy fee simple ownership and does not have the same property rights as all other Canadians who live off reserve. According to the Indian Act, First Nations reserve land is held in trust for on-reserve members by the federal government -- essentially making on-reserve First Nations people wards of the state.
A small First Nations community called Whitecap Dakota, located just outside of Saskatoon, has a lot to celebrate on National Aboriginal Day. When Chief Darcy Bear took office the unemployment rate on reserve was 70 per cent, with the support of his council and community, Chief Bear has brought the unemployment rate down to five per cent.
06/20/2015 11:39 EDT
First Nations in B.C., like the Lax Kw'alaams band, deserve greater clarity on what, if any, projects trump Aboriginal title rights. Companies looking to invest in B.C. deserve greater clarity on the willingness of the government to support projects on Aboriginal title land -- without the consent of First Nations.
06/10/2015 11:00 EDT
If the government is serious about stimulating investor confidence in the mining sector, they need to address the land certainty question.
02/06/2015 06:35 EST
It is unclear why the Chiefs of these 44 communities are choosing to withhold this information from their electorate and Canadian taxpayers. It is particularly peculiar that two of these communities, Weenusk First Nation and Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation, previously published their audited financial statements and have now reversed course. That brings up the question: why are these 44 Chiefs afraid of an informed electorate?
12/21/2014 03:01 EST
As international champions of democracy and with so much debate over federal election reforms, how would you expect our elected officials to react when democratic rights are being stifled in First Nations communities in Canada? Unfortunately, in recent weeks, they've responded with neglect and evasion.
04/16/2014 12:32 EDT
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