Order (Amending) the Schedule to the First Nations Elections Act

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Title or working title of the regulatory initiative

Order Amending the Schedule to the First Nations Elections Act

Enabling act(s)

First Nations Elections Act


This regulatory initiative is carried out in response to a request from individual First Nations who wish to hold their band council elections under the First Nations Elections Act and associated First Nations Elections Regulations. The council of a First Nation will signal its decision to opt into the Act by adopting a band council resolution and sending it to the Minister. In response, the Minister may add the First Nation to the schedule to the act. Several First Nations could be added to the schedule to the Act over the next few years. However, as this decision is made by individual First Nations, it is not possible to predict the number of such orders that will be made in the future.

Prior to the act and associated First Nations Elections Regulations, which came into force on April 2, 2015, First Nations in Canada selected their leadership in 1 of the following 3 ways:

  1. According to their own community or custom leadership selection system;
  2. Pursuant to their community's constitution contained in a self-government agreement;
  3. Under the election provisions of the Indian Act and associated Indian Band Election Regulations.

The act is a fourth option for leadership selection in First Nations.

The act is designed as an optional legislation providing a robust election system for willing and interested First Nations. It does not change the Indian Act election system and First Nations can continue to hold their band council elections under the Indian Act if they wish. Similarly, First Nations that hold their elections under their own community or custom election code can continue to do so. However, all First Nations may wish to consider the benefits of opting into the Act and associated First Nations Elections Regulations. These benefits include a term of office of 4 years; a shorter election period; a more robust process for the nomination of candidates and the distribution of mail-in ballots; the ability to hold advance polling stations where deemed warranted to increase voter participation and reduce the dependency on mail-in ballots; and an overall reduction in the costs of elections.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Given that opting into the Act is made at the request of a First Nation, through resolution of its council, this initiative is not under a specific formal regulatory cooperation work plan.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including business

No impacts are expected on businesses and Canadians. The impact is restricted to the members and leaders of the First Nation subject to the regulatory initiative. However, the change in electoral system resulting from the regulatory initiative was requested by the First Nation itself and therefore the impacts are expected and desired. There are no impacts to international trade or investment.


Given that opting into the Act is made at the request of a First Nation, each will have their own internal consultation process. Therefore, it is not necessary to undertake consultations over and above those already conducted by the First Nation with its members.

Further information

Please find further information on Leadership selection in First Nations and the First Nations Elections Act.

Departmental contact information

Jessica Wong
Statutory, Legislative and Policy Implementation Directorate
Lands and Economic Development Sector
Email: TDE-EPE-DOG.LED-EPD-GOD@sac-isc.gc.ca

The date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan

September 2015

Find out more

Consult Indigenous Services Canada and Indian Oil and Gas Canada's Laws and Regulations web page for:

Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:

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