Quebec is proposing to do away with the Native tax exemption, after complaining that the exemption hasled to fraud in Native communities.

In its broad new First Nations policy announced last week, the Quebec government says Nativecommunities could reduce their “dependence” on outside governments by collecting taxes from theirresidents.

First Nations will be invited on a voluntary basis to start collecting taxes, according to the newpolicy, entitled, “Partnership, Development, Actions.”

The proposal is buried at the very end of the 40-page policy report and was ignored by the media.

Another way to reduce dependence is also proposed: more resource development in First Nationsterritories, a new Aboriginal mining fund and Native participation in hydro projects.

As part of the new policy, Quebec is creating a $125-million Native Development Fund, to be disbursedover five years.

Ottawa is matching this fund with another $125 million.

The money is for economic development and community projects.