Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Votes “YES” to Approve their Land Code.
AOPFN will now Govern their own Reserve Land and Resources Effective August 1st, 2019
ALGONQUINS OF PIKWAKANAGAN FIRST NATION, Ontario – May 30, 2019
On May 25, 2019, Members of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation cast their ballot in favour of the “Algonquins of Pikwakanagan Land Code” and “Individual Agreement” with Canada. With a strong 67% of the Pikwakanagan voters in support of the Land Code. The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation can now begin managing their own Reserve Land and their own Resources in accordance with their customs, traditions and practices, rather than under the land management provisions of the Indian Act. The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan are the 83rd First Nation in Canada to pass a Land Code.
It has been almost a decade long journey that began in April 2010 with the first Council Resolution confirming the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan’s desire to enter into the process to manage their own land. On March 25, 2013, Pikwakanagan became a signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management and began developing their own customized land management law. On September 26, 2015 the Members voted on the Land Code and Individual Agreement. It was not passed due to the minimum participation requirement not being met.
Through the Individual Agreement with Canada, control over the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation land and resources will be transferred from Canada under the Indian Act to the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation under their Land Code. The Land Code was drafted by the Membership at a grassroots level and includes: a description of reserve lands to be managed, a mechanism for new lands to be added, a process for community input and approvals, general rules for the use and occupation of these lands, financial accountability, the making and publishing of land laws, stringent conflict of interest rules, a dispute resolution process, and other matters respecting the use and management of Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Land.
The Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management is a government to government agreement between First Nations and Canada. This signing of the Framework Agreement was signed by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and 13 First Nations on February 12, 1996. This is the first step for a First Nation to assume control over its reserve lands, resources and the environment. Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation became signatory to the Framework on March 25, 2013.
Canada ratified their commitment to the Framework Agreement with the First Nations Land Management Act in 1999. Once a First Nation ratifies their land code and Individual Agreement, the 33 Indian Act provisions relating to land management will no longer apply to reserve land.
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Land Code will be the basic land law of Pikwakanagan reserve lands and will replace the land management provisions of the Indian Act and provisions for the following:
- Identifies the reserve lands to be managed by the First Nation
- General rules and procedure for the use and occupation of the land
- Financial accountability
- Making and publish of land laws, conflict of interest rules
- Matrimonial Real Property Law
- Dispute resolution process
- Procedures for F.N. to grant interest in land or acquire land
- Delegation of land management responsibility
- Procedure to amend the Land Code
The Individual Agreement between Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Canada is the negotiations to deal with such matters as:
- The reserve lands to be managed by the First Nation
- The specifics of the transfer of the administration of land from Canada to the First Nation (e.g interests in land held by Canada that are to be transferred to the First Nation)
- The funding to be provided by Canada to the First Nation for land management
Community Ratification Process
In order to assume control over reserve lands, the Land Code and the Individual Agreement must be ratified by eligible voting members of Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, whether living off-reserve or on-reserve. The procedure for the community ratification process is developed in accordance with the Framework Agreement.
Purchasing or transferring Land within Pikwakanagan
A legal survey is required to register a transfer of land. The costs will be the purchaser or seller’s responsibility. Anything dealing with transferring or leasing land is now processed with Lands Department and no longer requires Ministerial approval from Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada. If the land transaction is not registered, it will not be recognized nor will the buyer receive a Certificate of Possession for the land.
Adding Land to the Reserve
The manager searches on a regular basis for suitable land outside of Pikwakanagan that may be converted to “Reserve Land”. The Additions to Reserve Policy must be followed for the land to obtain “Reserve Status”. We are beginning the process to add the New Property to Reserve Land.
Easements and Permits
Negotiations are finalized with Bell Canada. They have been issued a permit from the First Nation to occupy our land for their underground lines and units. They pay a fee each year for the use of the land.
We have finalized our negotiations with HONI on back payments for the use of our lands from 1952.
Manager, Lands, Estates & Membership