Community Participation and Approvals

Are First Nation members involved in developing a Land Code?

Yes. The contents of the Land Code are developed by the membership of the First Nation. Typically, a lands committee is formed to be responsible for developing the draft Land Code for the First Nation. The committee has officers of the First Nation knowledgeable about lands and other members of the community.

The lands committee holds community meetings with the members to develop the policy upon which the Land Code is based. Once the draft Land Code begins to take shape, drafts are circulated in the community for comment. Door to door meetings with members are also arranged to allow the lands committee and members an opportunity for more in depth discussion of the draft Land Code.

As a fundamental principle, the development of a Land Code is an exercise in community selfgovernment at a “grass-roots” level.

Does the Land Code need community approval?

Yes. In order for the First Nation to assume control over its lands, the Land Code and the Individual Agreement must be ratified by the members of the First Nation.

The procedure for the community ratification process is developed by the community in accordance with the Framework Agreement. This process will be set out in a document that will contain all the details of the process. The ratification procedure involves a thorough process to locate all eligible voting members and provide them with the opportunity to vote in person or by mail.

Are off-reserve members involved?

Yes. All members of the First Nation who are at least 18 years of age, whether living off-reserve or on-reserve, have the right to vote on the Land Code and the Individual Transfer Agreement.

Is there a verification process?

Yes. An independent person selected jointly by the First Nation and Canada, called a Verifier, will monitor and confirm that the community ratification process and Land Code are consistent with the Framework Agreement. Once that is confirmed, the process of monitoring the ratification is conducted by the Verifier in accordance with the community ratification process.