Manitoba nation signs historic self-government agreement
The Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation signed the first-ever self-government agreements last week.
Once in effect, the agreements remove Sioux Valley Dakota Nation from under portions of the Indian Act by providing them with greater control over decisions related to economic development, land management, education, housing and water, among other important issues, and by providing the mechanisms for good governance.
Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development; Chief Vincent Tacan of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation; the Honourable Eric Robinson, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs for Manitoba; and First Nation community members were at a special ceremony to celebrate the historic achievement last week.
“The Agreements reflect the collaboration of all parties over 20 years,” said Tacan. “We begin to lift impediments of the Indian Act and move to build a self-reliant, healthy and prosperous Dakota Nation. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation looks to a continuing spirit of government co-operation by Canada and Manitoba.”
“I believe these agreements will ensure that Sioux Valley Dakota Nation has the ability to provide increased economic opportunities for future generations, while continuing to honour their traditions and culture,” said Robinson. “Together, through our excellent working relationship that has been developed with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, these agreements can serve as a model for self-government for other First Nations in Manitoba.”
The self-government agreements signed will give Sioux Valley Dakota Nation authority to make new laws affecting its community in over 50 subject areas, including governance, economic and social development, education, housing and more. Governance agreements will be harmonized with existing federal and provincial laws within the Canadian constitutional framework.
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