Law-Making Powers: A First Nation governing its lands under a Land Code will have the power to make laws in respect of the development, conservation, protection, management, use and possession of First Nation land. The Land Code does not authorize laws relating to the taxation of real or personal property. Such laws must be made separately pursuant to section 83 of the Indian Act or the First Nations Fiscal Management Act. The First Nation’s Council can also continue to enact by-laws under section 81 of the Indian Act.
Land Management: The Framework Agreement provides the First Nation with the powers of an owner in relation to its First Nation Land, except for control over title or the power to sell it. The Framework Agreement also protects the status of lands under Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and ensures that any land exchanges by First Nations must include replacement reserve land to protect the size of the reserve land base. The First Nation’s Council can manage land and resources, as well as revenues from the land and resources, in accordance with its Land Code.
Third Party Interests: Interests in First Nation land held by third parties, or by Canada, will continue in effect according to their terms and conditions under a Land Code. No new interests or licences may be acquired or granted except in accordance with the Land Code.
First Nation Expropriation: The First Nation will have the option to acquire lands for community purposes upon payment of fair compensation to those whose interests are affected.
Accountability: A Land Code will make provision for a First Nation to be accountable for the governance of their lands, resources and revenues by reporting to its First Nation members.
Registration of Interests: All documents pertaining to land interests of a reserve will be recorded in the First Nation Land Registry System (FNLRS).
The FNLRS is: Electronic, Provides for Instant Registration, Priority-based, Paperless, Backed by Regulation (Unlike the Indian Act registry system)
The FNLRS system and regulations are landmark achievements. The regulations provide for greater land certainty, mortgageability, title insurance and drastically reduced or eliminated land transaction costs.