New research is laying out the growing involvement of First Nations in resource development and concludes aboriginal people will likely call more of the industry's shots in the future.

The report by Ken Coates of the University of Saskatchewan acknowledges the deep splits among indigenous people over energy or mineral projects on their lands.

But it totes up the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue many First Nations now receive from those projects and points out much of it is generated by companies owned by aboriginals.

Coates says their growing economic clout, backed up by a series of legal decisions, will eventually give them the kind of influence they seek over how projects are designed and built.

His report comes as Canada debates projects such as pipelines, which cross many First Nations communities.

The study was commissioned by the Indian Resource Council, an aboriginal group that represents First Nation oil and gas producers.