The Lands Advisory Board
Who We Are and What We Do
Through the historic government-to-government Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, the First Nations Lands Advisory Board (LAB) is dedicated to supporting First Nations communities in their efforts to re-establish control over their lands, natural resources and environment.
The Framework Agreement is a First Nations driven arrangement that provides the opportunity to resume control over their reserve lands, natural resources and environment. Since the Framework Agreement’s signing in1996, an ever-growing number of First Nations communities across Canada have resumed their inherent authority over their reserve lands, natural resources and environment by replacing the 44 lands-related sections of the Indian Act with a community developed and approved land code.
The mission of the LAB remains steadfast: “First Nations working together to resume jurisdiction over reserve lands and resources.”
First Nation Established and Controlled
The LAB is comprised of an elected Chairman and regionally elected Directors, determined by the Councils of the signatory First Nations who have formally established their community land codes.
Among its roles, the LAB:
• provides strategic direction to the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre which was established to provide technical and professional support to First Nation signatories as they develop and implement their own land codes,
- proposes legislative changes to the Framework Agreement and federal legislation as directed by the signatory Councils,
- advocates for and negotiates funding with the Government of Canada on behalf of the First Nations signatory communities.
The immediate policy priority is the replacement of the historic government-to-government Framework Agreement’s ratifying legislation, the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA).
Replacing the FNLMA “ratifying legislation” in the short term will greatly reduce duplication and confusion, as well as create clarity, save time, effort and resources for both First Nations and Canada. It will also build on the Framework Agreement’s two-decade success in recognizing the inherent right of self-government in an efficient and respectful manner and better respect the ‘government to government’ dynamic of reconciliation.
In place since 1996, the Framework Agreement has a proven track record supporting First Nations to reclaim governance of their lands and resources despite complications arising from the current ratifying legislation (FNLMA).
Through the implementation of the Framework Agreement, Canada and First Nations are making practical, meaningful progress towards reconciliation through the elimination of the colonial Indian Act lands restrictions by establishing community-created land codes. Land codes are enhancing law making, enforcement, planning, and environmental management and the protection of reserve lands, as well as creating better regulatory circumstances for stable economic development. Land codes are also expanding on modern systems of lands governance and have resulted in the removal of federal government-related bureaucratic processes in favour of more appropriate local and timely decision-making.
For up-to-date information on the First Nations who have ratified the Framework Agreement and enacted their own land codes, or for those who are in the land code development phase, please visit our Signatory First Nation page.
Currently over 50 interested First Nations are also exploring the option of becoming involved in the Framework Agreement. Over one third of First Nations in Canada are involved in the Framework Agreement process. The LAB and Resource Centre hope to expand efforts in support of the growing numbers of First Nations that continue to seek effective and proven remedies to the colonial restrictions of the Indian Act.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management