This study analyzes investment projects on some of the best situated Indian reserves in Canada and compares them to similar projects off-reserve. The study finds that the lack of opportunities on reserve has resulted from an externally imposed system of First Nation governance under the Indian Act, which has artificially raised the costs of doing business. It can cost four to six times as much to put together a major investment project on reserve, and it takes much longer to take a project from the proposal to operating stages. As a result, even favourably-located reserves have low business presence and see potential investment diverted to adjacent jurisdictions even when these alternative locations are less favourably sited.
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