British Columbia’s First Nations are ready to transform the gaming field over the upcoming more than two decades with the help of a new agreement. The Indigenous nations recently inked a new agreement with the government of British Columbia that will cover the upcoming 23 years of operation. It will support the tribes with some CA$3 billion in gaming revenue.
This month has been a special one, as it saw the signing of the new agreement directly impacting the gaming operation of tribal nations across the province. It is going to span over more than two decades and aim to support the self-government and self-determination of these nations seeking improvement. It could be recalled that the last months of 2018 saw a change.
Back then, a long-anticipated decision being announced, as the gambling revenue of the British Columbia field was going to be shared with the Indigenous communities in the province. The change was confirmed by Premier John Horgan at the fifth annual meeting at which leaders of First Nations came together to discuss various topics.
British Columbia Government wants to support them to the best of its abilities, which could happen via a Gaming Control Act amendment in regards to the upcoming 23 years. This shows that the province wants to see its First Nations thrive and achieve more with the help of the new agreement, marking a milestone moment for the people of Indigenous communities. Premier John Horgan pointed out that relying on this support is essential for the First Nations.
It will secure revenue in the long term and subsequently support the various projects within the First Nations, as well as the communities themselves. The agreement in its entirety covers 25 years, but the collaboration on it began with an interim two-year arrangement. This happens through the First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership which unites over 97 percent of the tribal nations in British Columbia.
CA$3 Billion in Gaming Revenue
Projections are that the First Nations will be more motivated to work towards their improvement with the help of this financial support available. Judith Sayers, co-chair, BC First Nations Gaming Commission, stated that tribal nations are expected to see an improvement supported by the province in this way. It also is a good sign when it comes to the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The next phase of this agreement is projected to bring more negotiations and conversations between the two parties involved. As a result of them, First Nations could get the chance to have better access to gaming opportunities within British Columbia going forward. Michael Bonshor, co-chair, BC First Nations Gaming Revenue Sharing Limited Partnership, further clarified that the first two years of this agreement have brought great improvements.
The gaming revenue generated will be used in various ways, depending on the particular situation of each of the First Nations. It could be for support of their infrastructure and housing, for education and culture, for community development or environmental protection.