Land Code Q&A

Land Code

Land development will fall under LNIB's Land Use Plan, and environmental laws, that are developed and approved by members. The 'term' or number of years of a land lease will be part of the Land Code and approved by membership. The land rent to be paid will be part of that particular land lease and must be at fair market value and supported by an appraisal report prepared by an appraiser certified under the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

The laws LNIB will create through the Land Code, once ratified will be the foundation for our Land Use Plan, which in turn will show the intended use of LNIB reserve land for development, infrastructure, housing and economic development projects. Any projects on our reserve land will need to comply with the Land Code and the land use plans, however the plans will not include financing for the projects.

Depending on the type of project, financing may come from the Band, or whoever is doing the project. For example, if the Band is developing a housing project for members, then as part of that development the infrastructure costs become part of that development. On the other hand, if a developer leases land from the Band or a member, then the infrastructure costs on that land will be part of the developer’s costs.

A Certificate of Possession indicates an individual band members right to property on reserve. Under the Indian Act, Band Council can allot land to individual members, with approval from the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. Those allotments become known as CPs. These interests will be carried over under Land Code.

Only reserve lands are included. Lands received under claims settlements, or other processes may be included only if they become reserve lands.

Our Traditional Territory does not apply to the lands designated under Land Code. It only applies to reserve lands.

Land management is the day-to-day administration of reserve lands and resources on reserve, including; law-making, enforcement, policy, individual interests and third party interests. Managing our own lands means that we are able to respond to community needs, and interests within our community. We will no longer require the Minister's approval for lands use or management practices, which takes a long time to acquire.

No, developing a Land Code and Agreement will not define or prejudice inherent, or any other rights of LNIB. It will not negatively impact our ability to negotiate in the future.

LNIB will conduct an environmental assessment of our lands and Canada will fully disclose any environmental issues they know of. The federal government will provide remedial clean up of existing issues.

We also have the option to exclude problem areas from Land Code until they have passed an environmental assessment.

LNIB will be able to create land development policies and laws to promote economic development.

Under Indian Act regulation, LNIB would need approval from the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for reserve lands, and resources on reserve use and development, which takes a very long time.

LNIB managing our own lands could respond to development proposals in our community, and at the speed of business.

No, it cannot be mortgaged because title to LNIB land will remain with Canada. This means it cannot be lost through legal process, or be repossessed by a mortgage lender.

No. Sale of the land is prohibited in order to protect the land base of LNIB for future generations.

Yes. LNIB may decide it is advantageous to exchange some of its reserve land for other lands. A procedure to negotiate and approve exchanges can be made in the Land Code. An exchange could not occur without consent of LNIB members.

No, not at all. Developing a Land Code isn't part of a Treaty process, and won't affect our rights.

Canada will remain liable for and will compensate LNIB for losses suffered as a result of any act or omission by Canada, or its agents, that occurred before Land Code is implemented.

LNIB will become liable for the decisions made about reserve land and resources on reserve once Land Code is implemented.

Yes, leasehold interests are capable of being mortgaged. In our Land Code we can choose which of our reserve lands will be subject to mortgages and seizure by third parties.

Yes! Chief and Council managing reserve lands under a Land Code will have the power to make laws with community input and approval. These laws would be in respect of the; development, conservation, protection, management, use, and possession of reserve lands and resources on reserve. This will also include laws on; zoning, environment, services, and dispute resolution.

Canada will continue to hold title to LNIB land, but will no longer have management authority over the land.

AANDC will no longer be involved in the management of reserve lands or resources on reserve.

Yes. Canada provides operational funding to First Nations operating under a Land Code to:

  • manage lands
  • make, administer and enforce its laws under Land Code
  • administer an environmental assessment
  • administer management processes on the land

The amount of funding will be agreed upon between LNIB and Canada. The amount will be set out in the Individual Agreement with Canada and is subject to the approval of the members of LNIB as part of the ratification process.

 

Under Land Code, LNIB leadership will be required to report annually to its members on its land management activities. The Land Code will also set out rules on financial accountability for its management of lands, resources and revenues. LNIB Council is legally and politically accountable to follow the laws it enacts in Land Code.

 

 

Chief and Council is legally bound to the terms of the Land Code, and responsible for managing reserve lands and resources on reserve for the benefit of LNIB members.

Yes. The land base of LNIB will be protected for future generations.

  • Once a reserve becomes First Nation land under a Land Code, it cannot be sold
  • Our land would be immune from expropriation (being taken away by the government) for any purpose unless it is for a public purpose that serves national interests
  • If expropriation were to occur LNIB must receive an equivalent amount of land and financial compensation for damages

It's up to us! LNIB will have the power to make environmental laws under our Land Code.

All LNIB members over the age of 18 living on-reserve or off-reserve have the right to vote on Land Code and the Individual Agreement. All members are welcome and encouraged to participate in creating our Land Code.

Yes. The Land Code will not be implemented without community approval. In order of LNIB to assume control over our reserve lands and resources on reserve members need to ratify both the Land Code and the Individual Agreement.

The ratification procedure involves a thorough process to locate all eligible voting members and provide all members with the opportunity to vote in-person or by mail.

Yes! LNIB member's are an important part of developing a successful Land Code. 

There are several ways to let us know your thoughts and concerns:

  1. There are community-working groups that meet regularly to help develop a Land Code that meets LNIB's needs.
  2. Take our surveys. Your answers directly inform the direction for Land Code.
  3. Keep in touch! Come to our community events, email us, call us and check in with the website.

Yes. Approximately 2/3 of the Indian Act does not deal with land matters and will continue to apply. By implementing a Land Code we will be removed from 1/3 of the Indian Act.

Land Code is a document our community will create to replace the land management provisions of the Indian Act. Land Code will be our system of law for our reserve lands and resources on reserve if we implement it.  

Land Code will:

  • Identify the reserve lands to be managed by LNIB
  • Determine the rules and procedures for the use and occupation of the reserve lands by LNIB members and third parties
  • Include provisions about financial accountability for revenues from the reserve lands and resources on reserve
  • Make and publish LNIB land laws, such as land use planning, and conflict of interest rules for land management
  • Develop procedures for land use in the case of marital breakdown
  • Create a dispute resolution process
  • Determine a procedure by which LNIB can grant interests in land (both to members and third parties) or acquire lands for community purposes
  • A procedure to amend the Land Code

A: No, it will not affect other self-government arrangements. It does not affect of define inherent, or any other rights.

1) LNIB develops its own law-making procedure in a Land Code

2) An Individual Transfer Agreement is negotiated between Canada and LNIB

3) LNIB community members must approve and ratify it

4) Implementation

Yes. Once a reserve becomes First Nation land under a Land Code, it cannot be sold or surrendered for sale and will be protected for future generations.

The Land Code removes 25 % of the Indian Act - putting important decisions about Lands and Resources in the hands of community members instead of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and the bureaucrats of the Canadian government.

Leadership is legally bound to the terms of the Land Code, and responsible for managing reserve lands and resources on reserve for the benefit of LNIB members.

Section 5 of the Land Code is dedicated to accountability. It determines the administration of the lands practice and financial management policies in a way that is transparent.

Yes. An environmental assessment is required as part of the process to transfer authority for reserve lands and resources on reserve to LNIB.

Canada will provide remedial environmental clean-up, and remain liable for areas determined to be of environmental concern.

Once Land Code is implemented LNIB will be responsible and liable for all decisions and uses of the reserve lands and resources on reserve.

Land Code is about building long-term self-determination, self-reliance and economic prosperity for our community. It is an inclusive document designed to benefit both on-reserve and off-reserve members, by including them in important decisions over lands and resources.

Land Code will also enhance the LNIB government structure, which will benefit all members and future generations.

It will be possible. Interests in Land is section 7 of the Land Code. This section will address; new and existing interests, as well as CP and land allocation. This is where we will have the opportunity to address concerns about acquiring new land interests, securing CPs or transferring land interests to other members.

Yes, part of developing the Land Code, LNIB is required to survey the external boundaries of the reserve land that will be included in the proposed Land Code. AANDC and Natural Resources Canada (NRCcan) have the responsibility to carry out the surveys only with the consent of LNIBs Chief and Council.

Certainly, under a Land Code, LNIB will develop it's own environmental laws and policies. All laws developed under the Land Code have to be ratified by the Membership before they can become LNIB laws. These laws and policies will remain consistent with the Canada Environment Protection Act (CEPA).

Until the Land Code is ratified by members, the CEPA will continue to apply. As part of the negotiation of the Individual Agreement (IA), LNIB and government must discuss and agree what LNIB environmental laws will be created under the Code.

Under Land Code, all First Nations are required to establish their own land registry system and a land registry department that connects directly with the federal First Nation Land Registry System. The intent is that that the Canada wide registry system can be searched by anyone. All land transactions such as purchase and sales, leases, permits, right of ways, and easements must be filed with the LNIB land registry department. The system will also be linked to a web map for greater convenience and meaning for the user.

At this time, our utility plans have not yet been digitized for use by the Public Works Department in a Geographic Information System.

LNIB does not currently have a Land Use Plan (LUP) in place. The laws LNIB will create through the Land Code, as approved by members, will be the foundation for our Land Use Plan, which in turn will show the intended use of LNIB reserve land for development, infrastructure, housing and economic development projects. It is a requirement that the Land Use Plan must be in place within two years after the Land Code is ratified by members.

Absolutely not! Our Land Code would become the foundation from which land laws of LNIB are developed. It will replace the land management provisions of the Indian Act (34 sections of the Indian Act that relate to land management of which 32 relate to reserves in BC). As a result, LNIB members will have the power to make laws in respect of the development, conservation, protection, management, use and possession. To ensure accountability to LNIB membership, Land Code provisions are to be reported annually to Members on land management activities.

Yes, LNIB currently has two staff members certified by the Reserve Land and Environment Management Program (RLEMP) to manage the land and environment activities on reserve and ensure compliance with the Indian Act. One of these individuals - the LNIB Lands Manager - is one of many staff members supporting Chief and Council to engage members about the Land Code process, and coordinate our transition away from the Indian Act into Land Code if the membership decides this is the right path for the community.

The laws LNIB will create through the Land Code, once ratified will be the foundation for our Land Use Plan, which in turn will show the intended use of LNIB reserve land for development, infrastructure, housing and economic development projects. Any projects on our reserve land will need to comply with the Land Code and the land use plans, however the plans will not include financing for the projects.

Depending on the type of project, financing may come from the Band, or whoever is doing the project. For example, if the Band is developing a housing project for members, then as part of that development the infrastructure costs become part of that development. On the other hand, if a developer leases land from the Band or a member, then the infrastructure costs on that land will be part of the developer’s costs.

Land development will fall under LNIB's Land Use Plan, and environmental laws, that are developed and approved by members. The 'term' or number of years of a land lease will be part of the Land Code and approved by membership. The land rent to be paid will be part of that particular land lease and must be at fair market value and supported by an appraisal report prepared by an appraiser certified under the Appraisal Institute of Canada.


 

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