A study conducted by the University of Calgary shows that the Westbank First Nation in Kelowna is leading the way in generating financial revenue for its members.
The report was released by the Fraser Institute earlier this week, an independent Canada public policy think-tank.
The study found flexible land acquisition was a big part of the WFN’s success story, which allows members to easily buy and sell real estate on and off reserve.
The study suggests the WFN’s $2 billion worth of real estate property is also driving substantial revenue for it’s members, which includes the Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre and WIBCO Construction.
In 2018, the WFN generated 63 percent of it’s total revenue from its own operation, compared to about 36 percent total self-revenue generated for the average First Nation in Canada.
The WFN has 850 band members who currently live on the west side of Okanagan Lake and there are close to 10,000 people who live on WFN land.
The WFN has had self-government since 2005 and in recent years has seen a large amount of commercial development spring up on its Westside reserves. While it has its own lands code, much of the development has occurred on reserve land that is controlled by individual WFN members.
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