First Nation Land Management Resource Centre

First Nations Land Management Resource Centre (RC)

Beautiful outdoor lake in Canada

Who We Are

A First Nations organization dedicated to serving and supporting First Nations communities who want to re-establish control over their lands, natural resources, and environment through the historic government-to-government Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management.

What We Do

The RC is dedicated to supporting First Nations communities, when invited, in the following ways:

  • Intergovernmental Relations in support of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management’s ongoing implementation
  • Training, resources, and support services for signatory First Nations as they develop and implement their community land codes
  • Providing information to interested First Nations
  • Transitional support
    • Financial planning
    • Registry set up
    • Law Creation prioritization
    • Instrument Development
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Fees
    • Organization/Staffing
  • Training/Knowledge Sharing
  • FNLRS Training
  • Information Management
  • Individual Agreement Maintenance – Revenue Accounts, documents transfer, legacy issues follow up
  • Land Use Planning
  • Enforcement and Adjudication
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental Assessment/Management Advice
  • Survey Advice
  • Law Development Advice
  • Communications and Public Relations
  • Federal/Provincial/Municipal Relations
  • Issue specific advice
  • Issue specific workshops
  • Staff Mentoring
  • Best practices, online learning curriculum, and other resources
  • Law Compliance

“Developmental Phase Funding Agreement (DPFA)” facilitation:

    • Land code development assistance
    • Assistance with Community/Council/Staff Information development and working Sessions
    • Lands Committee support
    • Facilitating the completion of the Individual Agreement
    • Assisting Verifier when needed
    • Ratification vote assistance
    • Milestone and financial reporting
  • *Support to First Nations is restricted to Land Code development and/or implementation. First Nation Signatories are not required to utilize the services of the LAB or RC.

Policy Priority: FNLMA Replacement

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

Get To Know Us

“Over the past 20 years, we have worked with First Nations to implement First Nation Land Management across the country. More and more First Nations from coast to coast are taking the opportunity to reclaim jurisdiction over their lands and resources – we are taking our rightful place over our lands.”

Austin Bear, RC Chairman

What We Do

Operational & Developmental
Technical Field Support

The Resource Centre places great emphasis on the regional representation of its technical staff, which geographically coincides with the distribution of signatory First Nations.

Many of our Managers and Technicians were integral to the development and implementation of the land code for their respective First Nations. This insight is invaluable to the support provided to communities proceeding towards self-governance.

The support services provided by our field staff are wide-ranging, including:

  • Aiding in land code development;
  • Aiding in community engagement and communication strategies;
  • Advising in Individual Agreement negotiations;
  • Coordinating the verification process;
  • Assisting in planning/facilitating ratification votes;
  • Supporting operational First Nations during and after transition to land governance authority under their land code;

Capacity Building, Training, &
Professional Development

A Land Governance Manuel (LGM) has been prepared as a resource tool for Operational signatories. The LGM is a living resource tool, updated regularly, and has been developed from 20 years of actual examples of lands governance experiences under land code.

A series of ongoing sessions, called “Think-Tanks” are offered regionally throughout the year. These focused, capacity building sessions encourage the discussion of current land governance practices and experiences as they relate to various lands governance topics.

The Resource Centre has produced over 50 short online courses, with several additional ones in development. These online courses have been created on topics informed by the key functions of a Lands Governance Director, Lands Manager or other Lands related staff operating under the Framework Agreement. These courses also have a supporting workbook, presentation and supplemental resources that can be used in webinars, workshops and individual learning. Courses are reviewed and updated periodically as laws and other content changes come into effect. Courses can be accessed through our Online Course Catalogue.

Environmental & Enforcement
Support Services

The Resource Centre continues to work towards addressing the regulatory gap on reserve lands with First Nations, provinces and the federal government as intended by the Framework Agreement.

Environmental Management Planning, Implementation, Law-making and Enforcement in our communities are a unique and on-going challenge.

In response to this need, the Resource Centre has been developing various strategies to expand on the self-government law-making powers of operational signatory nations to the Framework Agreement.

Equally, the LAB and Resource Centre are committed to consistently improving upon the Framework Agreement per the direction of its membership. As such, several amendments are currently in development, including topics such as:

  • Voting thresholds and need for verifiers;
  • Expanded Environmental law-making powers;
  • Expanded MRP provisions and powers;
  • A First Nation led lands registry system;
  • Additions to Reserve;
  • Authorities for partnerships in policing, etc

Land Use Planning & Related
Support Services

Assistance in land-related planning is provided to Operational communities as well as Developmental communities.

Land Use Planning, Strategic Planning and other land-based planning advising is provided to communities. This includes assistance in preparing for planning activities and sourcing and applying for funding.

The Resource Centre recognizes that land-related plans are primary tools for successful land governance to take place, that Land Use Plans are a requirement for successful economic development and protecting traditional sites, and that the development of land-related plans should follow the development of land codes, given that land codes govern land laws.

Lands department staff can be provided with mentoring opportunities and each community is treated individually. The activities are at once related to land governance, economic development planning, and capacity building, with the three being merged into the overall Resource Centre Land Use Planning advising role as well as the Resource Centre’s Training and Communications strategies.

Land Description & Surveys
Support Services

Assistance and advice is offered to First Nations with regards to surveys, processes and other survey related issues or questions.

This can include:

  • Determining the type of survey plan required for a land transaction;
  • Detailing the survey plan process;
  • Determining the various stakeholders and their specific role’s in the process;
  • Reviewing and explaining the survey plan;
  • Researching the status of a survey project;
  • Searching for finalized survey plans for the First Nation, etc.

The Resource Centre also provides assistance in reviewing the Research Reports and Land Descriptions prepared by Canada for a First Nation’s Reserve lands.

If Canada identifies the need for a survey, the Resource Centre’s survey contracting process was developed to ensure a timely completion and that First Nation are included in the project.

Communication Development
& Support Services

As with all areas of Resource Centre support, our communications department plays a key role in the Resource Centre’s mandate, by developing products that share pertinent information about the Framework Agreement, its signatory communities, and other topics of significance.

A variety of products are produced and maintained throughout the year to help inform, advise, and support. Among others, some of these items include:

  • The LAB Annual Report;
  • Special presentations to communities, Parliament, associations;
  • Land Code specific websites and community engagement materials;
  • Social media;
  • Digital and print media; and
  • LAB and Resource Centre websites

Mission Statement

“Supporting First Nations to exercise their Inherent Right to govern their Lands and Resources.”