LEGAL STATUS AND POWERS OF FIRST NATIONS
The Framework Agreement provides the option to govern and manage reserve lands outside the Indian Act. The option to regain control of reserve land through a land code can only be undertaken with the consent of the community. A land code replaces approximately 32 sections of the Indian Act.

Once the community ratifies their own Land Code and the Individual Agreement, control over First Nation lands and resources are no longer be subject to the Indian Act, but recognized to be under the governance authority of the First Nation.

Legal Status of First Nations

The Framework Agreement provides First Nations with all the legal status and powers needed to govern and manage their lands and resources. While First Nations will not be able to sell their land, they will be able to lease or develop their lands and resources, subject to any limits imposed by their own community Land Code.

  • RC can provide ongoing support and facilitate presentations to C&C, staff, LAC
  • Resource tools – sample executive summary, PPTs, etc.
  • C&C need to be committed to implementing governance structure (resource tool: BCAFNGovTool-Assess/ Banff Training Centre /customize tools for LC for resource exercise/workshop – LAB/LABRC involve)
  • Continued community engagement & support – engage with “no” voters encourage them to get involved

Further to considerations made during the developmental process, it is important to evaluate the current governance and organizational structure and to develop a strategic approach in Land Code implementation.

  • ANDREW PPT – review and insert portions of TT Richmond Presentation
  • Chief & Council Guidebook – McLeod Lake
  • Governance Manual (seabird) other examples … Tsawwassen Community Governance Act … Squamish Nation Governance Manual …
  • Conflict of Interest – samples and guidelines

Sample Governance Statement:

  • Vision & Mandate statement for the department within their branding – Seabird sample
  • Develop workshop or tools support this exercise for the organization (need sample materials & PPTs to review and provide as resource tool)
  • RFP Samples – 3rd parties, lawyers, EMP, etc. // sample reference check questions (Jennifer) – consider new section // negotiations, agreements // incl. Dispute Resolution
  • Don’t be afraid to insist you visions are reflected into proposals to meet the needs of your community

AGREEMENTS, UNDRIP & COURT CASES

  • Reserve land vs. traditional territory – preamble support inherent right to lands and resources (update language)
  • Check Andrews PPTs and language around capacity building to support endeavors outside of reserve boundaries and UNDRIP principles from ground up …
  • Use Tools to assist with management of off-reserve lands // Tshilqoutin – Caretaker ? // TLE
  • Enhance off-reserve agreements to meet your standards defined by Land Code policy & procedures
  • This process respects historical treaties and supports continued self-governance structures.

Sample Organizational Chart:

  • language describing the effect of Land Code throughout the organization, suggest to coordinate _ meetings with managers to ensure best efforts of implementation and cross-departmental issues.
  • Annual Strategic Planning sessions (C&C, senior staff, LAC)
  • Address departments processes C&C // LANDS // EcDev // Housing // Admin // + INAC process requirements (health, projects, etc.) … making lands first point of contact for any land related issues

Sample Land Code Processes:

Organizational Process SAMPLE

Review the Land Code in detail, create a quick reference index list of which sections provide the authority and who is authorized to act under that authority. See sample provided below:

  • Simplify Land Code – executive summary of each chapter … check with Murray’s ExSummary & Presentation; LNIB CE PPTs

Land Code Samples

APPOINTMENT OF COUNCIL DESIGNATE / LAND GOVERNANCE DIRECTOR

The First Nation will want to formally appoint the Land Governance Director and register this authority in the FNLRS. The following is sample BCR language:

WHEREAS the _____ First Nation entered into the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management with Canada on ______, 20__. (the “Framework Agreement”)

WHEREAS the _____ First Nation developed a Land Code as contemplated by the Framework Agreement (the “Land Code”) and presented it to the membership of _____ First Nation for ratification on ______, 20__ in accordance with the First Nations Land Management Act.

WHEREAS the Land Code came into force on ______, 20__;

WHEREAS the First Nation wishes to appoint _____________ Land Governance Director for the _____ First Nation effective ______, 20__.

BE IT HEREBY resolved and agreed:

THAT _____________First Nation has appointed ______________ to act in his/her place as Land Governance Director effective ______, 20__ and terminating ______, 20__.

THAT the Land Governance Director is authorized to designate in writing for a specific period of time a person employed by the ____________ First Nation’s Land Services may act in his/her place as Land Governance Director during his/her absence.

THAT a copy of the present resolution is registered in the First Nations Land Registry System (FNLRS).

ESTABLISHMENT OF LANDS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (NEW SECTION, more materials)

Further to the process set out in the Land Code, it is important to develop a Terms of Reference (sample Annex XX) that compiles the Land Advisory Committee process and responsibilities. It is particularly useful to capture the relationship and processes that will be required between Council, Lands Governance office and LAC as implementation and strategic work planning move forward. See sample on website or ask your FNLMRC Support Technician for assistance.

  • No requirement for LAC, but keeps community connected; very effective with a well established process
  • Stronger LAC TOR, collect samples into DB/resource file
  • “Advisory” – stress use if this term and add a sample “definition”
  • Staggered Terms
  • Succession planning & mentoring (youth/elders/hunter&gathers)
  • Separate Workplan that complements Strategic Plan/EcDev Plan (C&C, Staff, LAC)
  • Educational Plan / Workshops
    (Resources: Board Training – Mike Watson; train the trainer – TBD)
  • Family heads, so families are equally represented
  • Addressing LAC lack of interest
  • Council representative on LAC to inform C&C
  • Committee reporting structure & responsibilities/representation of community (visuals – orgchart),
  • Committee funding – develop sample budget (formula to include # participants, # meetings, meals, legal, workshops, equipment supplies – files/emails (sample – aderrickson601@gmail.com), admin support, etc. )
  • Samples – BCR for appointment / election process / etc.
  • Subcommittees – can create them to work on specific tasks in the workplan…

HUMAN RESOURCES
Each First Nation will have their own unique governance structure and policies around Human Resources. Here as some sample postings, interview questions and job descriptions (see Attachment I – link coming soon).

  • Sumas – receive best qualified people, look for samples from them
  • Resource Tools – List of individuals looking to work in Land Management / ask if they could share with other nations;

Postings:

  • Land Governance Director (review and update, double check definition)
  • Land Governance Officer

Interview Questions:

  • Land Governance Director
  • Land Governance Officer

Job Descriptions:

  • Land Governance Director
  • Land Governance Officer

You can also access up to date Human Resource Tools at https://labrc.com/land-governance-tools/resources and it is encouraged to network with other First Nations to create knowledge sharing opportunities.