The OIB had total revenues of $11.7 million with $7.2 million from its own revenue not government transfer. Couple that with the population it stand very tall.
3 First Nations (Indian Bands) in the Okanagan generated nearly as much income on their own last year as they received in government transfers, a study has found.
Penticton Indian Band, the Vernon-based Okanagan Indian Band + Osoyoos Indian Band reported own-source revenue of $19.8 million in the last fiscal year.
That compares to the $23 million the three bands received through transfers from Ottawa.
“These three bands are doing well in generating their own income compared to other First Nations,” states Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary professor and senior fellow of the Fraser Institute.
Flanagan looked at revenue reported to Ottawa by 516 First Nations across Canada.
Own-source revenue typically comes from activities such as development of land for both residential and commercial purposes, resort and hospitality ventures and industrial parks.
Some bands derive income from natural resource operations, such as forestry, oil and natural gas, and fisheries.
The 1,069 member Penticton Indian band reported the highest income, $17.6 million.
The Okanagan Indian Band, with 2,010 members, had revenues of $13.4 million.
The 541-member Osoyoos Indian Band had total revenues of $11.7 million.
“The Osoyoos band is sort of legendary for its entrepreneurialism,” Flanagan said, referring to band ventures such as a winery, golf course, high-end resort, and industrial businesses. It also profits from having a provincial jail on its lands.
Of all First Nations in B.C., Squamish generates the most own-source revenue, at $61 million, compared to $17 million in government grants.
“First Nations across Canada have found multiple paths to financial success,” Flanagan says. “When Indigenous communities are successful economically, their members can prosper and see their living standards improve.”
Source: Fraser Institute, files from Black Press Digital, photos ODN