First Nations Land Management
Budget 2018 is investing $143.5 million over five years, starting in 2018-2019, and $19 million per year ongoing to support participating First Nations and those that wish to participate in First Nations Land Management.
First Nations Land Management enables First Nations to opt-out of 40 sections of the Indian Act relating to land management. First Nations can then develop their own laws about land use, the environment and natural resources and take advantage of cultural and economic development opportunities with their new land management authorities.
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About the First Nations Land Management
In 1991, a group of First Nation Chiefs approached the Government of Canada with a proposal to opt-out of 40 provisions of the Indian Act on land, environment and resources. As a result of this proposal, the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management was negotiated by 14 First Nations and Canada in 1996 and came into effect in 1999 through the First Nations Land Management Act.
Together the Framework Agreement and the First Nations Land Management Act form First Nations Land Management.
To assist First Nations in implementing their own land management outside of the Indian Act, the Framework Agreement established the:
- Lands Advisory Board
- First Nations Land Management Resource Centre
Under First Nations Land Management, land administration is transferred to First Nations once their land codes come into effect. This includes the authority to enact laws with respect to land, the environment and resources. Once a First Nation has joined First Nations Land Management, it is able to receive three types of funding:
- developmental funding for developing a land code, negotiating an individual agreement and holding a ratification vote
- funding to facilitate the transition from the developmental phase to the operational phase
- ongoing operational funding for managing land, environment and natural resources as determined through negotiations between Canada and First Nations
As of January 2019, 153 First Nations have entered First Nations Land Management and are either developing or operating under their own land codes.
Who can opt-in?
Any First Nation with lands reserved for Indians within the meaning of section 91(24) of the Constitution Act of 1867 or with lands set aside in Yukon can opt-in.
There is no deadline. Expressions of interest are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
How to express interest?
- The First Nation submits a Band Council Resolution and a completed Land Governance Community Profile form (PDF) to the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre or an ISC regional office requesting to become a signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.
- The First Nations Land Management Resource Centre and ISC review the submission and make a recommendation for entry to the Minister.
- After a First Nation is recommended for entry into First Nations Land Management, the First Nation and the Minister sign an adhesion document adding the First Nation as a signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management. First Nation signatories are then formally added to Schedule 1 of the First Nations Land Management Act.
- The First Nation then enters the developmental phase. In this phase, the First Nation undertakes activities such as drafting a land code, negotiating an individual agreement with the Government of Canada, holding community consultations and conducting a ratification vote. Natural Resources Canada provides a description of the lands that will come under the management and authority of a community's land code. This entire stage takes approximately 2 years to complete and is accompanied by milestone-based funding.
- The First Nation community approves the land code and individual agreement by a ratification vote and enters the operational phase.
- In the operational phase, the control and administration of the First Nation's land, resources and environment is transferred over to the First Nation. The 40 sections of the Indian Act related to the management of land, resources and environment no longer apply to the First Nation since they now operate under their own community-developed and approved land code.
First Nations seeking more information about First Nations Land Management or assistance in implementing First Nations Land Management should contact the: