As part of Budget 2019, First Nations in British Columbia will have a stable, long-term source of funding to invest in their communities’ priorities, through a historic revenue-sharing agreement between the Province and the First Nations Leadership Council.
Starting April 2019, approximately $3 billion over 25 years will be shared with B.C. First Nations, meaning every First Nation community in B.C. will be eligible for between $250,000 and $2 million annually through the agreement.
First Nations communities will determine their own priorities for the funding, which can be used for a wide range of benefits, including: health and wellness, housing, infrastructure, training, environmental protection, economic development, governance capacity and other uses.
The agreement to share provincial gaming revenue was reached after decades of work and advocacy by the First Nations Leadership Council, represented by the First Nations Gaming Commission, as directed through resolutions by Chiefs at assemblies of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. The Commission is establishing a new B.C. First Nations limited partnership to manage the funding, overseen by a First Nations-appointed board of directors.
Sharing revenue with First Nations communities is an important step that puts reconciliation into action. This agreement is part of B.C.’s commitment to create a new fiscal relationship with First Nations, recognizing self-government and self-determination.