Land Code FAQ


1. What are the two main reasons for developing our own Land Code?
A. Two main reasons:
• To be able to govern our own lands and resources.
• To respond to economic development opportunities for our community at the speed of business.

2. Will the FNLMA have an impact on our endeavor to self-government?
A. No, the FNLMA is progressive and fit harmoniously with our self government initiatives. This is one sectoral component of self-government that will allow us to take control and management of our reserve lands and resources.

3. Will we be free and clear of the Indian Act once we have our own Land Code?
A. No, Land Code allows us to be out of the 34 land related sections of the Indian Act.  Approximately 2 thirds of the provisions of the Indian Act continues to apply to First Nations with Land Codes in force.

4. Are we getting money to assist us in our transition to our own Land Code?
A. Yes!  Canada provides two phases of funding:
• Right now we are in the Developmental Phase.  This assists with the community approval process, development of the Land Code and negotiations of the Individual Agreement.
• Next is the Operational Phase.  These moneys assist with land management activities.  The level of funding is set out in the Individual Agreement.  This is based on our operational funding formula and goes to staff necessary to perform core FN Lands Management functions.

5. What is land management?
A. Land management involves the day-to-day administration of reserve lands and resources and the right to make laws in respect of those lands and resources.
6. What laws can we develop through our Land Code?
A. We can enact laws with respect to land, the environment and our resources.  We can develop no trespassing laws, laws for land subdivisions and liabilities.  These laws do not pertain to oil & gas, uranium or radioactive minerals, fisheries, endangered species or migratory birds.

7. What are the economic development comparisons between First Nations in Land Code and First Nations under the Government’s Indian Act?
A. First Nations operating under Land Code reported 40% increase in new business by band members and a 45% increase into different types of business.  This includes suppliers and spin off businesses.  More employment opportunities had been generated for band members and non members.  This will significantly reduce dependence on social assistance programs and will bring more money into our economy.

8. Is St. Mary’s IR 1A part of our lands identified in the Land Code?
A. No, not yet but once the land has be transferred back to St. Mary’s Indian Band, we can deal with this Post Land Code.

9. How many bands are in the Land Code now?
A. Currently across Canada,
• 45 bands have had successful ratification votes (36 of these bands are currently operational; 7 are waiting to conclude Individual Agreements and 2 have moved under Self Government & Treaty regimes)
• 9 bands have had ‘no’ votes
• 22 bands, including St. Mary’s, are currently developing their Land Codes for ratification
• 29 new bands will begin the developmental process after April of this year

10. Are there many bands that Ratified for a Land Code but are not getting the benefits they expected?
A. We are not aware of any band operating under Land Code that regrets taking over control and management of their own lands and resources. It is up to each community to implement their own unique land laws and administrative needs to gain those benefits and opportunities the Land Code can provide.

11. Will the Certificate of Possessions be the same and what will the new process be?
A. Refer to Land Code – Continuation of Existing Interests:
32.1 An interest or licence in St. Mary’s Indian Band Lands, whether held by a Member or a person other than a Member, that is in effect on the date this Land Code comes into force shall, subject to this Land Code, continue in force in accordance with the terms and conditions of that interest or licence.

12.  Is this process just for bands in BC?
A. A. No this is available to all bands in Canada.

13. What if the outcome of the vote is a tie for example 90 yes and 90 No?
A. Then “NO”, the St. Mary’s Land Code does not happen. 50% + 1 of all registered voters need to vote in favour of the Land Code in order for a “YES” vote.

14. If the Land Code does not get a positive vote can we do this again?
A. No, absolutely not, this is our one chance to seize control of our band lands.

15. Can we register before the mail outs happen on March 5th, 2014?
A. Absolutely, we have a few copies of the Registration forms with us.

16. In the video the Council member was saying their territory, does this mean we can include our territory in the Land Code?
A. No, the Land Code applies to reserves not territory. You can view the Stz'uminus Land Code video:

17. Will the fiduciary relationship between the federal Crown and the First Nations continue?
A. The fiduciary obligation of Canada continues under the Framework Agreement. The scope of Canada’s obligation will be reduced, once the band starts making the day-to-day decisions regarding its lands.

For access to more QUESTIONS & ANSWERS please visit:
First Nation Land Management Resource Centre (FNLMRC) at
Or call Leeanna Rhodes or Bonnie Harvey at SMIB