…/2Land can contribute to well-being both indirectly by strengthening a community’ssense of taking control of its own destiny (land as a governance/social resource)and directly through its use as an economic resource. The Reserve Land andFirst Nations Development Project will therefore examine with a group of moresuccessful First Nations (based on education, employment, average per capitaincome and housing) the extent to which these two ways of using land are part of their experience, and identify the problems with which they were confronted, thesolutions they developed, the factors that contributed to their success and thosethat did not, and any issues they may have left unaddressed in seeking tomaximize the benefits flowing from their reserve land.I have spoken about this project to a group of leaders of national First Nationsinstitutions who have an interest in reserve land and to whom I am sending acopy of this letter, all of whom support the project and have agreed to help meensure that it serves First Nation interests by:- sharing stories among more successful First Nations;- drawing lessons from those stories; and- making recommendations based on those lessonsso that more First Nations can become successful in leveraging their reserveland for development purposes.To this end, I will be carrying out structured interviews with a group of at least 25more successful First Nations from all regions of southern Canada over thesummer months. These First Nations did not become successful overnight and,since the land-related problems, solutions, factors and issues that are linked totheir success emerged over time, they may not all be known by any oneindividual. That’s why I would like to visit the main reserve of each First Nationand have a series of conversations with Lands, Environment and EconomicDevelopment staff, Council members responsible for those files and the Chief.After each visit I will prepare an interview report and send it to Chief and Councilfor review and any additional recommendations. The interview reports will not beshared without Chief and Council’s consent.The structured interviews should be completed by early September 2010 and theinterview reports will be integrated to produce the final project report. The draftreport will be submitted for comments to the previously mentioned group of leaders of national First Nations institutions and with participating First Nations,all of whom will receive a copy of the final report. This report will providetargeted fact-based advice and be an important input into the Department'sefforts to modernize reserve land management, both under and beyond theIndian Act.