Trust moneys

Find out how First Nations can manage their band moneys. Learn about Indigenous Services Canada's (ISC) responsibility to manage moneys held in trust for First Nations and their members.

Service delays

Indigenous Services Canada will maintain capacity to manage dependent adult estates to ensure continuity in support without interruption. Other priority or time sensitive estate services and / or trust money matters will be considered on a case by case basis.

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What trust moneys are

Trust moneys are all moneys collected, received or held in trust by ISC for the use and benefit of First Nations and their members. Trust moneys are held in the Consolidated Revenue Fund, where public moneys are deposited, as defined under the Financial Administration Act.

There are 2 types of trust moneys:

Individual moneys

Individual moneys are managed by ISC on behalf of Status Indian minors, dependent adults (based on a provincial designation as such), and estates of certain deceased individuals. These moneys are administered and accessed through the Estates Program according to sections 42 to 52 of the Indian Act.

Status Indian minors

An individual trust account holds certain moneys belonging to a minor until that minor reaches the age of majority in the province where they live, at which time the account balance is paid to them and then the account is closed. Individual trust accounts are usually established in one of 2 situations:

  • when the Minister exercises jurisdiction over property of a minor
  • when a First Nation asks ISC to retain a minor's share of per capita distributions

Trust accounts administered by ISC on behalf of minors accrue interest until the account is paid out. To learn more, visit Who is a minor?

The Minors Account Payout Initiative was established to pay individuals who have a trust account with ISC and have now reached the age of majority in their province of residence. To learn more, visit Minors Account Payout Initiative.

Dependent adults

Where a First Nation member, who ordinarily lives on reserve, is found to be incapable of handling their own financial affairs, ISC may establish an account for the individual and manage their day-to-day income and expenditures. These accounts accrue interest.


Where a First Nation member, who ordinarily lives on reserve, dies, the Minister has exclusive jurisdiction over the estate. ISC may appoint an outside administrator (provincial officer, family member, etc.) or, as a last resort, appoint an ISC employee to administer the estate. Estate trust accounts are established by ISC as required in order to administer the estate. Estate trust accounts are entitled to interest, with the exception of accounts established for missing heirs.

For more information, visit Estate services for First Nations.

Band moneys

Band moneys are managed by ISC on behalf of First Nations according to sections 61 to 69 of the Indian Act, which outline ISC's responsibilities for the collection, maintenance, disbursement and accounting of these moneys.

There are 2 types of band moneys:

Capital moneys

Capital moneys are trust moneys that come from the sale of the First Nation's surrendered lands, from an interest in the land, or from the sale of the First Nation's non-renewable resources.

Examples of capital moneys include proceeds from:

  • oil and gas revenues
  • sale of a First Nation's reserve lands
  • sale of timber without a reforestation program
  • sale of gravel

Revenue moneys

Revenue moneys include all other band moneys other than capital moneys.

Examples of revenue moneys include proceeds from:

  • the sale of renewable resources
  • reserve land activities such as leases, permits and rights-of-way
  • fines
  • interest earned on capital and revenue moneys held by ISC

How First Nations can access and manage their band moneys

There are various methods for First Nations to access band moneys, including exercising more access than the Indian Act alone currently provides:

Visit the various acts or the Manual for the administration of band moneys to learn more.

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