The road to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (Framework Agreement) began in the late 1980’s, launched by a small group of First Nations Chiefs, looking for a way for First Nation communities to leave the paternalistic constraints of the Indian Act behind.
The purpose of the Framework Agreement was to recognize the inherent right of First Nations to resume control over their lands and resources for the use and benefit of their members without Government interference, by replacing the land provisions of the Indian Act with First Nation made laws.
The Framework Agreement was signed by the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada and 13 First Nations on February 12, 1996.
The Framework Agreement sets out the principal components of reserve land governance. It is not a treaty and does not affect treaty or other aboriginal constitutional rights of the First Nations.
The Framework Agreement was ratified by Canada through the enactment of the First Nations Land Management Act on June 17, 1999.
The Framework Agreement provides First Nations with the option to govern their reserve lands outside the Indian Act. The option to regain control of their lands and resources can only be undertaken with the consent of the community.
A signatory First Nation to the Framework Agreement creates its own land code, community ratification process, and enters into an Individual Agreement with Canada.
Once the Land Code and Individual Agreement are approved by the community, the land management provisions of the Indian Act cease to apply. The Minister of Indigenous Services Canada will no longer be involved in the day-to-day management of the First Nation’s reserve lands. The Land Code does not have to be approved by the Minister.
Click here for a summary process chart:
Becoming a Signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management