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Aski Itasowaywin (Land Code)

Fisher River Cree Nation Land Code Initiative – Plan of Action

Over the next few months, Chief and Council and the Local Lands Committee will inform the membership of the details of the development of the Fisher River Cree Nation Land Code. Nothing will be finalized without membership approval.

Mandate of Chief and Council and Lands Committee:

  • To fully inform all band members on/off reserve.

  • Obtain direction from membership to move forward.

  • Information to Membership

  • Framework Agreement on Land Management

  • Historical Information on Fisher River

  • Fisher River Cree Nation Lands

  • Current Situation

  • Ratification Process

  • Fisher River Cree Nation Land Code and Individual Agreement with Canada

History of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management

The Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management is a government to government agreement with Canada where First Nations resume and exercise their own jurisdiction, control and decision making over their own lands and resources.

The Framework Agreement was signed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and 13 First Nations on February 12, 1996. (with additional First Nations added in May 1998.) The Framework Agreement was ratified by Canada by the passage of the First Nation Land Management Act Bill (C-49) in June 1999

1.) The Framework Agreement is a First Nation driven initiative.
2.) Each First Nation develops and ratifies their own land code that reflects their own laws, priorities, traditions, and ways of doing things.
3.) All voting members both on and off reserve are involved in the land code ratification.
4.) Nothing is finalized without community approval.
5.) The fiduciary relationship to the crown is refined, except to the extent that the land management comes under First Nation control.
6.) Title to First Nation reserve land is not affected by the Framework Agreement; “First Nation land continues to be land reserved for Indians within the meaning of section 91 (24) of the Constitutional Act of 1867.” Constitutional protection is retained.
7.) Treaty and aboriginal rights are not affected. “The Framework Agreement is not a Treaty.” As a general rule, there is no expropriation by the federal or provincial governments of reserve Lands. Canada is still responsible to correct past wrongs (not including land claims) that occurred on existing reserve lands before the First Nation’s land code takes effect. There will be continued protection of third party and individual band member’s interest’s on reserve lands.

A Land Code WILL NOT:

1.) Grant taxation powers.
2.) Create “fee simple” land or any other type of alienable land interest.
3.) Take away any Aboriginal, Treaty or other rights or freedoms that pertain to the Fisher River Cree Nation or its Members.
4.) Affect additions to reserve.
5.) Affect land claims.
6.) Increase provincial or municipal jurisdiction.

Benefits:

1.) The Framework Agreement will benefit Fisher River Cree Nation in making timely business and administrative decisions without having to go to the Minister of Indian Affairs for approval.
2.) The Framework Agreement recognizes the First Nations right to manage its own reserve lands, resources and environment.
3.) The Framework Agreement makes it possible for First Nations to adequately deal with the issue of matrimonial property in their respective communities in a way that does not discriminate on the basis of gender.
4.) Removal of the restrictive land provisions of the Indian Act.
5.) More efficient management of First Nation reserve land with greater economic opportunities.
6.) Removal of the need to obtain the approval of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for First Nation laws.
7.) Recognition in Canadian courts of First Nation laws.
8.) Ability to create a local dispute resolution process that is designed by the First Nation.

Future Participants in the Framework Agreement on Land Management

As part of the original legislation there was a provision that provided First Nations to opt into the process. As of March 2003 and additional 30 First Nations are eligible to participate.

Approximately 60 additional First Nations have provided formal Band Council Resolutions expressing interest in coming under the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land.

Contact

George Crate,
Land Code Coordinator
Phone: (204) 645-2171
Email: frcnlands@mymts.net

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