What is Land Code?
A Land Code is laws, regulations and policies for how reserve lands and the resources on reserve lands are managed. The Land Code replaces the 32 land management sections of the Indian Act and returns governing power of reserve lands to the First Nation as opposed to the federal government.
What protection does Land Code offer to keep Chief and Council giving away land?
The Land Code requires accountability from leadership to the members. Instead of reporting to the government, Chief and Council must provide a report to the members on all activities relating to the administration and management of the reserve lands.
Under Land Code, the size of the reserve land base cannot shrink. This is an important protection that is built into the Framework Agreement to protect the reserve land base of a First Nation. A Land Code does make it possible for a First Nation to choose to exchange parcels of its reserves, but this cannot be done without the consent of the members.
What decision-making power does Land Code give the community?
Land Code provides a First Nation control over land management and development decisions on its reserve lands. This means that the members, both on and off reserve, will be given the opportunity to participate in important decisions about how our reserve lands will be used.
Does Land Code mean people will need training?
Yes! Once a Land Code is passed, the First Nation will receive funding that can be used to build the capacity of a Lands Office. This will include hiring a team, such as a Lands Manager and support staff, and providing them with training.
What is the relationship between Tsilhquot’in and Land Code?
The Tsilhquot’in case was undertaken to establish title to the traditional territory. Land Code deals with strictly reserve lands and the laws and policies that manage these lands. Land Code does not change the title of the reserve lands. It just deals with day-to-day management and decision making.
What happens if the federal government dissolves the Individual Agreement?
Once a Land Code is passed, the federal government does not have the power to dissolve an Individual Agreement (IA). Land Code becomes the law and the community holds the power over their reserve lands. The government has no say once an IA is signed.
What impact does Land Code have on Title and Rights?
None. The Framework Agreement ensures that Aboriginal title and rights are not affected by the Land Code process. The Framework Agreement and the Land Code process only deal with the sections of the Indian Act that relate to reserve land management. This include sections 18-44, 53-60, 71, and 93. Issues relating to Aboriginal title and rights are dealt with in Sections 1-17 of the Indian Act and section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.