The B.C. government has announced that First Nations will share in provincial gaming revenue.
Premier John Horgan says the funding will support self-government and strong, healthy communities.
Horgan says it will be a central piece of hits government’s 2019 budget, but hasn’t disclosed any hard numbers.
“Undoubtedly this is a momentous occasion for all First Nations in the Province of B.C.,” said Grand Chief Joe Hall, First Nations lead negotiator and past chair of the BC First Nations Gaming Commission in a news release. “We have worked at this for many, many years and now we have finally arrived at an agreement that will see much-needed revenue from gaming shared with all the First Nations communities of B.C.”
The B.C. government and the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) have also announced they are co-developing new legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN declaration) in B.C. for next year.
“UN declaration legislation and gaming revenue sharing are important steps forward to advance true and lasting reconciliation, and create certainty and opportunity for First Nations and the province as a whole,” said Premier Horgan in a news release. “Sharing gaming revenues will mean First Nations have the ability to invest in the services and infrastructure healthy communities need – child care, supports for new mothers, housing, road upgrades and economic development to create a better future for everyone in B.C.”
The announcements were made Thursday at the annual B.C. Cabinet-First Nations Leaders’ Gathering in Vancouver.