It deals with an ability to come on reserve and seize property. That restricts us from being able to be mortgaged. It restricts the ability of our small business owners to securitize, and their ability to get into business. That's a jurisdictional question. What has to happen is that first nations have to be able to have the jurisdiction to make their own determinants at the local level. The hindrance for us getting to the capital market is section 89 of the Indian Act.
The other is the personal tax exemption under section 87. One of the things it has led to is a complete dependance on the federal government and all of its resources. That has its roots going back to 1927, to the Indian Act. What happened was that my ancestors were asking for the land question to be settled here in British Columbia. We were calling on the federal and provincial governments to come to the table to deal with us. One of the things they did in 1927 was to forbid us to collect taxes from ourselves. That meant that we couldn't have potlatch and we couldn't have winter dances. We weren't able to raise revenue on our own. That has led to the situation—again, because of the lack of jurisdiction—of having complete dependance on the federal government.
It impacts housing. It means that we'll never catch up to the housing backlog on a national basis. If you believe the federal government, it will be 300 years before we catch up to the housing backlog on a national basis; if you believe the Assembly of First Nations, it will take us 800 years.
It has its roots in the Indian Act. One of the things I've been advocating is a proper land title system so that we can have our own title and create a basis where we can go to the markets with our own credit.