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Land Code Information

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                  The Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (Framework Agreement) is a government-to-government agreement that was initiated by 13 First Nations to opt out of the land management sections of the Indian Act. The Framework Agreement provides the option to govern reserve lands outside the confines of the Indian Act. 

                                                               Purpose of the Framework Agreement

                  The Framework Agreement provides First Nations with all the legal status and powers needed to govern and The intent of the Framework Agreement is to recognize the governance authority of First Nations over their reserve lands, resources, and environment. The Framework Agreement not only includes administrative management responsibilities previously conducted by Canada as specified by the Indian Act, but also recognizes the ability of First Nations to make, administer and enforce law.

manage their First Nation Land and natural resources. 

      A First Nation power includes:

  • all the rights, powers and privileges of an owner and; 

  • the authority to grant interests or land rights and licenses in relation to its First Nation Land and;

  •  to manage its natural resources

                   The Framework Agreement recognizes the First Nation inherent right to govern its own reserve lands and resources. 

Phases of the Framework Agreement

                                                     There are 4 phases of the Framework Agreement Process. 

                The first phase is the Entry Phase, where a First Nation becomes a signatory to the Framework Agreement. The second phase is the Developmental Phase, where a First Nation develops their land code and concludes an Individual Agreement with Canada. The third phase is the Ratification Phase. During this phase, the First Nation engages the community to vote on the land code and Individual Agreement. The final phase is the Transitional/Operational Phase, where the First Nation will now transition to land code implementation.

                                                     Benefits of the Framework Agreement to First Nations

      There are a number of major benefits to First Nations who ratify and begin working under their Land Code, including: 

  • Recognition of the inherent right to govern reserve lands and resources

  • Removal of reserve lands from the Indian Act

  • Participation of both on and off members in decision and law-making processes

  • Increased accountability to members of the First Nation

  • More efficient governance of First Nation land

  • Recognition of First Nation legal capacity to acquire and hold property, to borrow, to contract, to expend and invest money, to be a party to legal proceedings, to exercise its powers and to perform its duties

  • Direct control of land revenue previously held in trust by Canada

  • Recognition of the right to directly receive revenue from interests in First Nation land

  • Protection for First Nation land against arbitrary expropriation and loss through surrender for sale

  • Ability of a First Nation to pass environmental laws, and to develop environmental assessment and protection regimes

  • Recognition of significant law-making powers respecting First Nation land

  • Recognition in Canadian courts of First Nation laws

  • Removal of the need to obtain Ministerial approval for First Nation decisions

  • Recognition of right to create modern offences and enforcement for breach of First Nation laws

  • Ability to appoint Justices of the Peace

  • Ability to create local dispute resolution processes

  • Establishment of land registry regulations and an electronic land registry system

  • Establishment of a First Nation created and controlled Lands Advisory Board and Resource Centre to provide professional technical and political assistance to First Nations 

  • Time saved in getting business done, operate at the speed of business

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© 2024 Fishing Lake First Nation

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