Whether the Final Agreement is approved or rejected, important programs and services will continue to be provided according to political priorities and available funding. But only under the Final Agreement will the Lheidli T’enneh be able to assume greater responsibility for how they are delivered to our people.
Who will be responsible for providing programs and services?
Under the terms of the Final Agreement, Lheidli T’enneh will deliver agreed-upon programs and services in a way that is similar to the services currently provided by other governments. The Lheidli T’enneh government would deliver programs and services in the following areas:
- Social development
- Local programs and services
- Community health services
- Public works
- Lands and resource management
- Treaty management administration
- Management of Lheidli T’enneh fisheries
Lheidli T’enneh members will continue to be able to access other programs and services provided by Canada or British Columbia.
How will these programs and services be funded?
Most programs and services will be funded under fiscal financing agreements that will be negotiated every five years. Under these agreements, the governments of Canada and British Columbia will provide annual funding to enable the Lheidli T’enneh government to deliver these services to its citizens and residents.
Will Lheidli T’enneh contribute to funding programs and services?
Lheidli T’enneh will also help to fund programs and services from the revenues it earns from taxes and other sources of income. Some of these sources of income are described in the Fact Sheet titled: Taxation. As Lheidli T’enneh’s ability to generate revenue increases, we will have greater flexibility and will fund a larger portion of the cost of delivering programs and services.
Will we still receive extended health benefits and post-secondary funding under treaty?
Yes. Although the Indian Act will no longer apply, the federal government is still responsible for funding First Nations under treaty, and still keeps track of who is eligible for Indian status. Under treaty, any members of Lheidli T’enneh eligible for Indian status will continue to receive extended health benefits and funding for post-secondary education in the same way as other status Indians. Other revenues may provide opportunities to extend these benefits to non-status members and others. The federal government has never excluded off-reserve members from educational benefits.
What happened to Nisga’a members and their extended health benefits?
In the Nisga’a Fiscal Financing Agreement, the Nisga’a negotiated to take over management of their non-insured health benefits (which pays for medication, among other things). The Nisga’a took over management themselves, and there were changes to how their services were managed, believing this to be a better deal for their members. Some Nisga’a members were very critical of these changes as some things that were previously covered were no longer covered.
The Lheidli T’enneh fiscal financing agreement does not transfer delivery of the non-insured health benefits to Lheidli T’enneh. These benefits remain under the management of Canada and their delegates such as the First Nation Health Authority.
Therefore, Lheidli T’enneh, will continue to receive the same extended health benefits.