Land Decolonized Podcast

Robert Louie, Chair, First Nations Lands Advisory Board Ep. 24: 100 Land Code Extended Episode

May 20, 2021 First Nation Land Management Resource Centre Season 1 Episode 24
Land Decolonized Podcast
Robert Louie, Chair, First Nations Lands Advisory Board Ep. 24: 100 Land Code Extended Episode
Show Notes

Chairman of the Land Advisory Board Robert Louie is back on the show for a special extended episode in celebration of the 100th Land Code passed in Canada. Robert says "Land Decolonized" means a resurgence of Indian people, First Nations Land Management succeeds because it is community-driven, yet the main challenge has been to get the government to move faster.  Robert notes his biggest inspiration to stand up in life being something his learned from his Grandmother

00:26 Richard introduces Robert Louie

1:38 Robert shares his excitement over recently marking the 101st community to approve its land code. He also shares what his colleagues were thinking as they first explored the idea.

3:21 Communities across Canada have shared good news after being recognized as governments without the interference of other levels. It is real governance authority. It's the future.

4:47 Robert describes his interpretation of decolonization as the dismantlement of the Indian Affairs bureaucracy, no longer prisoners, no longer considered inferior or less worthy. It had to change. Land decolonized is a resurgence of Indian people.

6:30  Does he have a strong personal reason for his mission? Yes, he saw things growing up and decided to follow his proud grandmother's lead to "stand up". People looked at them in a derogatory manner. Suppression was something they had to live with. Today feels like "liberation."

10:20 He heard so many charges of "You're selling out" that it made him furious, blaming opposition to land code on poor communication, often on purpose.

11:55 Land Governance Registration Act proposal is stalled and not likely to be dealt with until fall at the earliest. This would simplify the legislation and help avoid confusion over interpretation of the Act and the Framework Agreement itself.

13:46 Online workshops and training will be more common in the future as a result of the pandemic. Eg: the national conversation on Indigenous law enforcement. Band laws that protect community health need to be recognized and enforced, and we need to rely on the RCMP and provincial police to assist.

16:02 Funding is always an issue. Need to find resources and means of generating revenue in communities, requiring a further look at taxation opportunities.

17:12 Discussion of the integration of national organizations on land code, taxation, financial management and finance authority. This is their 3rd year, but Covid has impacted meetings. Still a desire to work together once Covid subsides.

19:00 Is the land code tidal movement spreading eastward? Yes! the 100th community is in Quebec, and land codes passed in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and even Newfoundland and Labrador.

20:13 Robert explains why Indigenous people are used to collaborating and supporting each other through the land code process. "We're all in the same canoe and had better paddle in the same direction."

21:35 How has the movement stayed strong in strategic direction? He credits the fact that it is community-based. We want the good things that all Canadian do.

22:45 Biggest challenge ahead? Getting government to move quicker, for example, on the enforcement issue. The entrenchment of old policies needs to be cleared away. The biggest opportunity is that there is a clear option for communities can proceed with self-government. It took 25 years to reach 101 operational communities. He sees it speeding up in future years because the studies prove it's working well. Governance is at the crux of it.

25:30 A great story about Robert's grandmother challenging a bear and forcing it to stand down. He learned something that day, even as a three or four-year old, about not backing down or being afraid of challenges.