Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

December 10, 2009 10:47 ET

Government of Canada Introduces the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act to Help First Nations Develop Commercial Real Estate on Reserves

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today introduced the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act that will enable First Nations across Canada to develop commercial real estate on reserve land.

"On-reserve commercial real estate has the potential to generate significant revenue for some First Nations, but such projects have been hampered by differences in property rights on and off a reserve," said Minister Strahl. "This bill will remove those barriers so that First Nations can begin to take advantage of these economic development opportunities on reserve land."

The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act would permit the registration of on-reserve commercial real estate developments in a system that replicates the provincial land titles or registry system. This would help make the value of on-reserve properties, including housing, stores, offices, and other buildings, comparable to equivalent properties off reserve land.

The Squamish Nation in British Columbia requested the First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act in order to facilitate a proposed commercial condominium development on reserve land in West Vancouver.

"This is a historic day for present and future citizens of the Squamish Nation," said Chief Gibby Jacob. "This legislation will be a catalyst for our economic engine, and will help fulfill our decades-long objective to take our rightful place in our traditional territory. We will remember this day with great appreciation of the hard work and tenacity of our peoples."

The First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act is optional legislation that is available to First Nations across Canada. In order for this legislation to be applied, a First Nation group would need to have a commercial or industrial proponent and a province willing to participate.

This initiative is in keeping with the Government's new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, which aims to increase opportunities for partnership-based economic development projects. An important step to reaching this goal is to enhance the value of Aboriginal assets by addressing legislative and regulatory barriers to Aboriginal economic development.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160