Economic Development Officer
About Economic Development,
About Land Use Pilot Project (LUPP)
The program activity Federal Administration of Reserve Land encompasses the Crown’s statutory and fiduciary obligations as the administrator of reserve lands held in trust for the use and benefit of First Nations. Those obligations are fulfilled through the timely response to requests for land transactions and activation of land and resource assets, additions to reserve, environmental protection performed with due diligence which preserves the principles of communal use and benefit while meeting the aspirations of First Nations in building safe, healthy and successful communities.
The LUPP for Sipekne’katik First Nation, was started approximately three years ago with the intention of developing Wallace Hill to its’ fullest potential, while maintaining the integrity for Band members. The ultimate goal is to create a means of generating revenue to back our dependency to the federal government.
We have a sitting committee on LUPP that consist of Co-chair Chief Rufus Copage, Co-chair Belinda Smith AANDC. The remainder of the committee consist of council members band staff as well Department of Indian Affairs staff.
About Land Economic Development Corporation:
Through a variety of community consultations under the guidiance of the LUPP committee, The Sipekne’katik band will put out a request for proposals (RFP) to create a Development Corporation to maintain all business activities of the band.
The Development Corporation will be governed by a Board of Directors (BOD) which should consist of Professional i.e. Account, Lawyer etc. In addition to the people it should also consist of Band Members such as: Elders, Youths, Members at large and Chief and council members.
One must remember that the Development Corporation should be at “arms-length” from the Chief and Council to allow it to run properly.
The following defines the Terms of Reference for the Sibeknae’katik First Nation (Shubenacadie) economic development program. We have broken the total project down into phases to assist with funding arrangements as well as project management. Over time, we wish to tackle each of these phases as an element of our overarching economic development plan. It has been our experience and recommendation that the natural course of events should be a planning process
Phase 1: Corporate Structure
Meet with Chief and Council and key management to confirm the current state and resulting tax, liability and business requirements of the proposed corporate structure followed by structure and governance. This can vary based on a case by case basis.
Review financial records and legal documentation as to the existing business and ownership arrangements;
Draft a proposed legal structure which may or may not include: trusts, corporations and partnerships as warranted and which will to the intent possible protect First Nation business assets from tax and operational liabilities and to ensure that future business income is spent, reinvested or distributed according to the desire of the First Nation’s membership;
At this phase we will require an outline of the high level roles and responsibilities of Chief and Council as well as others as required (board of Directors Trustees, Senior Management etc); however, we do not require detailed identification, selection and training of these individuals as these will occur in subsequent phases
The proposed structure should be able to accommodate our needs as alluded to in the following phase; however, no additional development would be required in this phase.
Review draft structure with Chief and Council; and, provide letter of direction to Shubenacadie legal counsel for review and execution.
Phase 2: Corporate Governance
In the second phase of our plan, we wish to expand on the corporate structure by putting the right people and governance structures in place to: Ensure that professional business management and First Nation politics each play the appropriate role within the structure; and,
Maximize the protection provided to First Nation assets from liabilities incurred in any of the First Nation’s current and future business enterprises; and,
Provide Chief and Council comfort that the transition to the new model will be effective, that the economic prosperity of the First Nation is well managed and that corporate governance ‘best-practices’ are sustainable;
In order to do so, we require:
The development of set criteria for each required element of the corporate structure. It is anticipated that these may include but not be limited to: executive management, Board of Directors and Trustees;
The delivery of these criteria to Chief and Council and the membership so that there is a clear understanding of the requirements of each position as so that individuals can begin to be identified to fill these positions;
Assistance with the selection of key positions which may include but not be limited to: executive management, Board of Directors and trustees;
Provide and deliver a training package for key roles which may include but not be limited to a Board of Directors and Trustees