Evidence of meeting #29 for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was land.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

5:20 p.m.

Chief, Nipissing First Nation

Chief Marianna Couchie

They could lobby for more money for us.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

I think I left myself open for that, didn't I?

My next question to you, Chief, is what types of lessons might other first nations take from your economic and land management successes?

5:20 p.m.

Chief, Nipissing First Nation

Chief Marianna Couchie

We've always been open with our bylaws.

We have proven ourselves to be leaders among the Robinson Huron Treaty first nations. Our bylaws are borrowed. Our administration laws are borrowed. Anything we have developed that would help a band to advance in their land code is open.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Basically what you're saying is that any time you have any particular land codes or regulations, you're open to sharing those with any other first nation.

5:20 p.m.

Chief, Nipissing First Nation

Chief Marianna Couchie

Definitely. Our bylaws are borrowed quite frequently, and our governing laws are as well.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

That's good to hear. On behalf of all the other first nations, I want to thank you for that.

What are the legislative and regulatory obstacles to economic development related to land-use management for your community? What recommendations would you have for addressing them?

5:25 p.m.

Chief, Nipissing First Nation

Chief Marianna Couchie

I addressed the fact that we need dollars for infrastructure development.

In the second industrial park we're building there's such a demand to rent or lease space from us that we can't accommodate all of the people.

I talked about the first phase. On this land we are developing, we know that we can put up additional facilities. First and foremost, we need infrastructure help. It's a lot of money to get gas over there. We have found water, but we need three-phase power to handle it. Once we get that crown corporation housed in our second industrial park, they're going to need that type of power to operate.

We want to build space for incubator businesses. It would be a space to help people develop their businesses.

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Do I have time?

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

You have ten seconds if there's something you can accomplish with that.

5:25 p.m.

Chief, Nipissing First Nation

Chief Marianna Couchie

You can take one slap shot.

March 13th, 2012 / 5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

Chief, I think it's evident that we could keep you here all afternoon. Your wisdom is certainly something we appreciate, and it's clearly evident that you have a passion for your first nation and also for other first nations in terms of moving forward. Certainly you are an inspiration and a leadership model for others.

Thank you so much.

Colleagues, I just want to do a couple of things. Thursday's meeting will be here. We have one witness. We've set aside some time for committee business at the end of that meeting. There are some things we need to discuss.

I just want committee members to think a little bit about the western leg of the travel itinerary. If colleagues want some additional information, I'll provide it at the end of this meeting once we shut down the meeting. If Carolyn and Linda would just stay back with Greg, we can have a little chat for just a few minutes, if that would be all right.

Colleagues, one thing keeps arising, and that is the issue of the A-base funding for the first, original FNLMA adherence, the members. We hear the anecdotal evidence on what has gone and what isn't going, and I think it would be useful if we got absolute clarification and did it formally through the committee.

If you would give me permission, I would simply write a letter to the department asking for the actual number of original members of the First Nations Land Management Act so that we could have a record of that to incorporate into our report.

I just need your permission so that we can actually bring it into evidence. That, I guess, is what I'm asking. Would you give me permission to write on behalf of the committee and then enter that into evidence? It will be circulated, of course.

5:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

5:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Chris Warkentin

Seeing no opposition, I'll instruct the clerk to do that on our behalf.

Colleagues, I think we're finished for today. Chief, thank you so much again for your time and for your willingness to be here today. Thank you so much.

The meeting is adjourned.