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First Nations Pass Gaming Legislation

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FALL 1995      p18  
The First Nations Gaming Act is a piece of legislation that was created by the First Nations Governments of Saskatchewan in Legislative Assembly.

This legislation lays out the orderly procedure that will be followed to develop a First Nations Gaming industry consistent with FSIN's economic development plan. The process will be driven by The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Commission.

The Gaming Commission is empowered to, "develop guidelines and regulations for the further definition of any provision of the Act". In addition to the Gaming Commission the legislation allows for the establishment of several institutions that will provide support to the gaming industry. Among these are:

Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Licensing. This entity will be a five member subcommittee of the Gaming Commission. The subcommittee will develop the licensing standards, fees and protocols for the operation and management of charitable lotteries on reserve. The subcommittee will further be responsible for the registration of gaming employees and event suppliers.

The subcommittee will report to the Gaming Commission and take direction from the Commission.

The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA). This corporation will also report to the Economic Commission on a regular basis. SIGA is mandated to conduct all business, marketing and management functions related to casino and VLT operations. SIGA's mandate includes the following:

(a) develop market strategies and plans for First Nations casinos

(b) work with the Gaming Commission on community approval requirements for casino site selection

(c)  oversee the negotiation of operating agreements for casinos, and

(d) Ensure that casino and VLT operations are profitable and meet all reasonable business and market requirements and good business practices in the industry.

While SIGA will report to the Gaming Commission and the Economic Commission, it will have a board of directors of it's own.

The First Nations Addictions and Rehabilitation Foundation. An addiction rehabilitation fund will be established to work in cooperation with existing agencies and charities to ensure that effective and accessible prevention and treatment programs are available to First Nations people.

The foundation will: coordinate and develop partnerships with existing agencies and programs and to make recommendations for funding of other charities or foundations which provide First Nations citizens with addiction prevention and treatment.

The First Nations Trust Fund. A board of trustees will be appointed to manage the proceeds from gaming. The board will consist of five members and a chair appointed from the membership of the Gaming Commission.

The board will have the mandate to invest some of the moneys and make payments, based on submission to community spirited projects.

The Trust Fund will provide payments for the following purposes:

- economic development
- social development
- justice initiatives
- educational development
- recreation facilities operation and development
- senior and youth programs
- cultural development
- community infrastructure development and maintenance
- health initiatives
- any other community development and/or project

The Gaming Commission will report annually to the Chiefs Legislative Assembly on behalf of all the institutions listed in the Gaming Act.

THE FSIN ECONOMIC VISION

The move to develop a Saskatchewan Indian gaming industry is consistent with the vision created by the FSIN for economic development. The FSIN vision is as follows:

"Our vision is of healthy individuals, families and communities, developed through a First Nations governmental, social, cultural and economic structure, supported by coordinated economic development."