First Nations Gazette: 20 Years of Supporting the Legal Voice of First Nations

On June 21, 2017, the First Nations Gazette (www.fng.ca) celebrates its 20th anniversary. For the past two decades, The First Nations Gazette (FNG) has been supporting the legal voice of First Nations and continues in its role supporting the emerging voice of First Nation self-determination. Laws and regulations that govern the daily lives of Canadians are published in the Canada Gazette. The role of the Canada Gazette is to provide access to these laws and regulations, to engage citizens and to assist the private sector in meeting legal requirements. However, in 1987, the Canada Gazette made a rule that excluded First Nation by-laws from its publication.

Around this same time, many First Nations were accessing new legislative options that enabled them to enact their own by-laws – such as property taxation by-laws. First Nations were required to take steps to provide notice of by-laws and provide copies of by-laws on their own, without access to a Gazette that provided this service with ease and consistency.

It was clear that First Nation governments wanted a gazette to fulfill the responsibility of informing their communities and citizens. This was becoming increasingly important as more and more First Nations were exercising and expanding their jurisdictions. The Indian Taxation Advisory Board – the predecessor to the First Nations Tax Commission – began to explore options for the creation of the FNG.