Urban reserves in Manitoba
Urban reserves allow First Nations in Manitoba to access opportunities for community, social and economic development.
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About urban reserves in Manitoba
An urban reserve is land within or adjacent to an urban municipality that has been set apart by the federal Crown for the use and benefit of a First Nation.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Manitoba region continues to support dialogue between First Nations and municipal governments to establish urban reserves, which offer opportunities for community, social and economic development that will benefit both First Nations and the municipalities involved.
There are 2 types of urban reserve: those created by an urban area growing into an existing First Nation reserve, or an urban First Nation reserve being newly created within or adjacent to existing municipal boundaries.
This second type is a new occurrence in Canada. In Manitoba, many First Nations have expressed interest in urban reserve creation as a way to access larger, urban markets and their economic opportunities. To learn more, visit Urban reserves.
List of urban reserves in Manitoba
There are currently 14 urban reserves in Manitoba:
- Opaskwayak Cree Nation, adjacent to the Town of The Pas
- Swan Lake First Nation's urban reserve land and recent addition to their urban reserve land, within the Rural Municipality of Headingley and adjacent to the City of Winnipeg
- Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation's urban reserve land, adjacent to the City of Winnipeg
- Sapotaweyak Cree Nation's two parcels of urban reserve land, both located within the Town of Swan River
- Nisichawaysihk Cree Nation's urban reserve land, within the City of Thompson
- Birdtail Sioux First Nation's urban reserve land, located within Foxwarren in Prairie View Municipality
- War Lake First Nation's 40 parcels of urban reserve land, located in Ilford
- Two urban reserve lands belonging to Long Plain First Nation, one adjacent to the City of Portage la Prairie and one within the City of Winnipeg
- Gambler First Nation's urban reserve business park, located in Brandon
- Peguis First Nation's urban reserve land, located within the City of Winnipeg
- Rolling River First Nation's urban reserve land, located in the Rural Municipality of Headingley and immediately adjacent to the City of Winnipeg
- Waywayseecappo First Nation's urban reserve land, located in the Rural Municipality of Elton and one kilometer north of the City of Brandon
Creating an urban reserve
The process for creating an urban reserve begins with a First Nation acquiring land on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis. The First Nation then provides a proposal to the federal government to transfer that land to reserve status.
Urban reserves, whether in accordance with a Treaty Land Entitlement agreement or not, can only be created through Canada's Additions to Reserve Policy. This policy identifies circumstances under which land may be granted reserve status and sets out steps to be followed by the Government of Canada in assessing a First Nation's proposal for reserve lands. Proposals to set land apart as reserve must include a number of requirements, including the resolution of municipal concerns, before the process can proceed further.
ISC's expectation is that issues affecting urban reserve proposals, such as zoning and services agreements, will be addressed through direct negotiation between First Nations and municipalities. The First Nation and municipality typically negotiate a municipal services agreement that addresses issues such as fees for various municipal services, tax-loss compensation, levies, bylaw application and enforcement, and dispute resolution procedures.
In Manitoba, several First Nations are in the proposal phase of projects which include creating an urban reserve.
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