Impact and Benefit Agreement (IBA) Revenue Allocation Strategies for Indigenous Community Development

This article analyzes the diff erent modes of resource revenue distribution and their impacts on Indigenous communities and sustainable development. After a literature review of the diff erent distribution models and their positive and negative impacts for communities, we assess each model’s level of sustainability. In the second section, we present the results of a survey and follow-up interviews conducted with twenty-one representatives of the forty-two Canadian First Nations that had signed an Impact and Benefit Agreement by 2016. In most surveyed communities, the trust funds are directly managed by the political authority thus providing no insulation from political influence. The survey also shows that some Indigenous communities are investing in programs that should be funded by the federal and provincial or territorial governments, which attests to the chronic lack of investment in Indigenous communities in Canada. Finally, whatever the choice of distribution mode, in order to foster sustainable development communities need to ensure that the lost natural capital—both non-renewable resources depletion and the environmental damage created by the operations—will be replaced for future generations.

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