Frontier Radio Commentary
Government Set to Move on First Nations Equality Law (~2min) – May 10, 2013
In Ottawa, a Commons committee is studying Bill S-2, which would correct a longstanding injustice affecting aboriginal women in Canada. It would guarantee that when a married couple living on a reserve divorce, both spouses will receive an equal share of the marital home and other property. This is the law in most Canadian provinces, but it does not apply on native reserves because they fall under federal jurisdiction. (~2 min.)
First Nations Should Welcome Financial Transparency Law (~2min) – April 12, 2013
Bill C-27, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act has cleared all the hurdles in Ottawa, and is now the law in Canada. It requires band governments to post important financial information on a website that’s publicly available. Bands now must disclose all salaries and benefits paid to the Chief and councilors, plus audited consolidated financial statements. If this information is not provided in a timely manner, band members can go to court and ask a judge to issue an order. (~2 min.)
Idle No More Misses Important Steps in Native Improvement (~2min) – January 11, 2013
Chief Teresa Spence and other leaders of the Idle No More protest movement will have their much-coveted meeting with Stephen Harper and other government leaders, but it may take a while to determine the historic importance of the meeting. The protesters should understand that a large part of the solution is on their own doorstep. (~2 min.)
Indian Act Changes Will Spur Economic Development (~2min) – December 21, 2012
First Nations groups on the prairies and elsewhere in Canada are protesting Bill C-45, another huge omnibus bill stemming from the most recent federal budget. The protests, under the slogan “Idle No More” are over provisions that native leaders say will take away their right to be consulted on what happens to reserve land. But there’s another section in C-45 that would improve economic development for aboriginal people. (~2 min.)
Good Governance Can Create Prosperity in Aboriginal Communities (~2min) – November 30, 2012
Transparency in local government is vital to the success of Canada’s First Nations. One of the Frontier Centre’s major ongoing research projects is the Aboriginal Governance Index. Thousands of First Nations residents are asked about their beliefs on how their governments should operate, and their perceptions of the actual performance of their chief and band council. (~2 min.)
First Nation Financial Transparency a Win-Win (~2min) – November 2, 2012
Legislation being considered by parliament will make First Nations governments more transparent and it has strong support among bands on the Prairies. More on today’s Frontier Centre Commentary. The Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs is studying Bill C-27, the First Nations Financial Transparency Act. (~2 min.)
Native Property Legislation Very Important (~2min) – August 17, 2012
In Ottawa, the Harper government wants to provide a way for First Nations to control ownership their own land. The government will be introducing legislation which would allow band members to have title to their own lands on reserve. Right now title is held by the Crown under various treaties. Private ownership could open up new economic opportunities for First Nations. (~2 min)
New National Chief can set Natives on New Path (~2min) – July 13, 2012
The Assembly of First Nations, which will be electing a new national chief on Wednesday July 18th, claims to represent over 630 communities in Canada, including first nations from all three Prairie provinces. Current Chief Shawn Atleo is facing seven challengers in his effort to win a second three year term.
Natural Resources the New Future for First Nations (~2min) – May 4, 2012
The Harper government's controversial move to streamline the approval process for large resource projects should make life better for Canada's aboriginal communities. Before Ottawa tabled a budget at the end of March, many were asking how much federal money would go to Aboriginal education. (~2 min)
Promoting Transparency in First Nations Governance (~2min) – April 20, 2012
Once a year, the Frontier Centre surveys thousands of Aboriginal Canadians about the performance of their chief and band councils. The purpose is to see if they believe their local governments are transparent and accountable. Again this year, the surveys showed that members of different bands have very different views about the success of their institutions. (~2 min)
Chiefs Need to Know About Land Management Law (~2min) – January 26, 2012
First Nations Chiefs who met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a summit in Ottawa this week need to know how a land management law can help their communities. More on today’s Frontier Centre Commentary. First Nations leaders met with government officials this past week in an effort to build trust and offer new ideas on economic development, education, and how to implement treaties. (~2 min)
New Native Election Law Good for Everyone (~2min) – December 30, 2011
Ottawa has introduced a new law dealing with band elections on Canada's first nations. The bill will extend the term of chiefs and band councilors from two years to four years, along with other reforms to help ensure greater fairness in elections. (~2 min)
Putting First Nations First (SK) (~1min) – November 4, 2011
University of Saskatchewan Economist Eric Howe has warned that “if we lose the coming generation of Aboriginal youth to social ills, the impact in a few years will be horrendous.” On this week’s Frontier Commentary, an innovative proposal for improving Aboriginal outcomes. (~ 2 mins)
Opportunity Exists to Improve Reserve Conditions (~2min) – June 17, 2011
An auditor general’s report says conditions on First Nation reserves are not improving partly because the federal government has not implemented past recommendations. But, is there hope? Find out on this week’s Frontier Centre commentary.
First Nation governments to face human rights challenge (~2min) – April 15, 2011
In a few months, First Nation citizens will be able to file human rights claims against their own band governments. Why is this significant? It is hoped the legislation will advance governance reform on many reserves as band leaders will have to revise their bylaws and policies to meet its requirements. It should also give band members a sense that they are protected by universal human rights standards.
Aboriginal Financial Institution Debate Misses Point (~1min) – February 25, 2011
In the 1980s, the federal government created Aboriginal financial institutions as a way for Aboriginal entrepreneurs to access badly-needed capital. As a result of the Indian Act, these entrepreneurs could not get business loans because reserve lands could not be held as collateral. Aboriginal financial institutions only deal with the symptom of the problems and not the cause, which is the lack of property rights for First Nations and flaws in the Indian Act. There are better ways to improve the business climate for first Nations. Why is that important?
First Nation Women Need Protection (~1min) – January 28, 2011
Last year, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy conducted a survey in which over 1,000 on-reserve First Nation residents in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta were asked about the status of women on their reserves. Sadly, the survey showed troubling numbers of band members felt their governments were not doing enough to protect women on-reserve.
Band Members Demand Good Governance (~2min) – January 7, 2011
Band governments do not have to wait for the federal government to create policies that ensure accountability and transparency. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Natives Becoming Economic Players (~2min) – December 10, 2010
Native groups in Northern Ontario, as well as Alberta, have formed corporations as a means to enter the economy. Clearly, this model that empowers First Nations to take control of their future is better than a model of dependency on the Federal government. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.
Initiatives Advance First Nation Economic Well-Being (~2min) – November 5, 2010
With so much bad news coming out of Native reserves these days, it is important to know that some important initiatives will likely help fight poverty on many First Nation communities. From the Frontier Centre's weekly radio commentary that runs in 3 prairie provinces.