This month, eligible First Nations in B.C. will start signing up to receive their share of new revenue that will support self-government and self-determination, strong, healthy communities and services that make life better for families.
The provincial government has transferred $194.84 million to the newly formed B.C. First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership, providing the first two years of shared gaming revenue committed to under Budget 2019.
“Our government is putting in place a long-term, 25-year revenue stream for First Nations as part of our commitment to reconciliation, through supporting self-determination,” said Premier John Horgan. “This funding will make it possible for Nations to provide important new economic, social and cultural opportunities that directly benefit the people who live in their communities.”
Once First Nations join the limited partnership, they will receive the first year of their share of provincial gaming revenue. The amount each Nation receives will be determined as each joins the partnership, based on a formula developed by the First Nations Gaming Commission in consultation with First Nations.
“The general partner will receive, administer, manage, invest and distribute funds received under the revenue sharing agreement efficiently and transparently to the benefit of First Nation communities in British Columbia,” said a statement from Michael Bonshor and Cody Hall, board co-chairs, B.C. First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership. “We encourage eligible First Nations to join the limited partnership and look forward to working with each community to begin receiving their annual distributive shares.”
First Nations will determine how their communities will benefit best from the revenue, which can be invested in areas that include health and wellness; infrastructure, safety, transportation and housing; economic and business development; education, language, culture and training; community development and environmental protection; and capacity building, fiscal management and governance.
The First Nations Leadership Council, represented by the First Nations Gaming Commission, established the First Nations-managed limited partnership in March 2019. Governed by a five-person board of directors, the partnership administers the distribution of funding to eligible First Nations and will provide regular reporting to an auditor jointly appointed by the Province and the limited partnership.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations —
“This new stream of revenue will help build local and regional economies led by First Nations in B.C. Gaming is part of our jurisdiction and inherent rights. We acknowledge the progress made with the government on gaming, but we cannot stop here. Further, First Nations must be more involved in the gaming industry, particularly those communities who are interested in opening up new facilities, and we need to see improved relationships with existing gaming facilities.”
Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit political executive —
“For many First Nations, priority setting is often driven by the criteria of available funding sources, which is not conducive to addressing the many pressing issues that face First Nation governments and communities. We are very pleased that the gaming revenue fund will provide First Nations with the flexibility and resources necessary to develop community-driven priorities to address a broad spectrum of issues, including the development of local economies, addressing housing shortages, promoting health and wellness, and preserving and strengthening Indigenous languages.”
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs —
“The government’s commitment to a sustainable and consistent revenue stream for First Nations is a significant step towards the realization of Indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and the revitalization of Indigenous governments, communities and economies. This long-needed source of funding will generate the opportunities and solutions needed by First Nations in the province to address their economic, social and cultural needs.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation —
“Sharing long-term, predictable revenues with First Nations is a very tangible demonstration of our government’s commitment to advancing reconciliation. It puts in place a source of funding First Nations communities can count on, so that they can support the people who live there with the kinds of social services, education, infrastructure, cultural revitalization and economic development they need.”
- In 2017-18, the B.C. government collected $1.391 billion in net revenue from gaming activities.
- 7% of net provincial gaming revenues per year will be distributed to First Nations communities based on the following formula:
- 50% base funding (divided equally among eligible First Nations);
- 40% based on population; and
- 10% for geographically remote communities.
First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership: https://www.bcfngamingrevenue.ca/