Alison Fraser

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Moving Towards Self-Governance and Management of First Nations Reserve Lands: Land Code Communities

Posted by Alison Fraser

on May 15, 2017 10:19:54 AM

In 1990, a group of First Nations Chiefs came together to request that their communities be given the opportunity to manage their reserve lands. This was primarily driven by their frustration with lack of control over lands, which was impeding progress on economic development within their communities.  In short, they were not able to “move at the speed of business” because of Indian Act- imposed processes about land-use on reserve.  Shortly thereafter, the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA) was developed and adopted.    Specifically, the FNLMA allows communities to opt out of sections of the Indian Act pertaining to lands management.  Communities that choose to follow this lands management pathway, can apply to enter into a Framework Agreement with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC, formerly AANDC) and develop a Land Code to assert jurisdiction over their reserve lands. Eligibility of a community is based on a review of the First Nations General Assessment by INAC, which includes a review of the financial stability of the community. 

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Topics: Aboriginal Land and Water Stewards, Land Code, First Nation Land Management Act