Canada does not receive anything out of this process. This is a First Nations driven initiative that began with 14 First Nations singing the Framework Agreement.
The Framework Agreement is a government-to-government agreement signed in 1996 by First Nations and Canada. It is an initiative to opt out of the land management sections of the Indian Act and take over responsibility for the day-to-day management of reserve lands and resources. It is the Framework Agreement that is actively being implemented by First Nations and Canada. As a result of the Framework Agreement, more than 70 First Nations have implemented their own Land Codes.
In order for a Land Code to come into effect, at least 25% + 1 of all eligible voters in the community must vote in favour. To meet this threshold, a large number of members - voting yes or no – need to participate. Most of the communities whose Land Codes have resulted in a NO vote is because not enough members turned out to participate. This is why it is so important for members to participate in meetings, ask questions, and get the information they need before the vote.
No. The Klappan Initiatives deals with sacred Tahltan Lands that are not on reserve. The Land Code only applies on reserve. The TCG, on behalf of all Tahltans, has negotiated the Klappan Agreement with the province to address land use issues between the Tahltan and BC. As a seperate initiative, the TCG is undergoing Land Use planning for all the traditional territory, with the exception of reserve lands, which are currently governed under the Indian Act. If Iskut Band members vote in favour of the Land Code, the Bands will work with the TCG to harmonize the territory land use plans with the land use plans we develop for reserve lands under Land Code.
Yes, there are two main risks to implementing your own Land Code. 1) Once the Land Code takes effect, the First Nation is fully responsible for the environmental management of their reserve lands, including any environmental issues that occur after the Land Code takes effect. However, the federal government will continue to be responsible for any environmental issue before the effective date of the Land Code. To ensure they are accountable, an environmental assessment is completed of all the reserve lands before the vote and identified in the Individual Agreement. 2) After implementing a Land Code First Nations cannot go back to managing reserve lands under the Indian Act, so we must be ready to take on this responsibility.
The focus of TCG’s work is to advance and protect Tahltan title and rights throughout the territory, and is playing an active role in lands management on the land, except for on reserve lands. Under Land Code, it is the Band’s responsibility for managing reserve lands and resources. This is because Land Code only applies on reserve.
Under the Indian Act a reserve is defined as "a tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, that has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a Band". This means that legal title to the lands is held by the government, but First Nations have exclusive use and occupation of the land.Under a Land Code, the legal status of reserve lands will not change. What changes is authority to manage, control and make decisions about the lands, which is transferred from the federal government back to the First Nation when the Land Code takes effect.
All Iskut Band members will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to accept the Land Code and Individual Agreement. Information and voting packages will be mailed out, and members will have the option of voting in person, by mail-in ballot or electronically.
Land surrenders are prohibited under the Framework Agreement. This process is about Iskut Band taking control of the day-to-day management of reserve lands, not surrendering it to other parties. Under Land Code the reserve land base can never shrink.
Land Code will not impact Thaltan and Title. The Framework Agreement ensures that the status of reserve lands does not change when Land Code takes effect. If Iskut Band implements their own Land Code, Tahltan Central Government will continue to assert Tahltan Rights and Title throughout our territory.
If ratified, the Iskut Band Land Code will not affect hunting & fishing rights. It will enable our community to better protect and manage land and resources on reserve and will not change our hunting rights within our traditional territory.
Industry and government are not pressuring Iskut Band to develop a Land Code. Becoming a signatory of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management is a decision made by the community. Iskut Band Council passed a Band Council Resolution opting into this process and to begin the development of our own Land Code.
No, not at all. Developing a Land Code isn’t part of a Treaty and only deals with reserve lands. Having a Land Code is an option available to First Nations who want the ability to govern their reserve lands and resources according to their own laws by removing the day-to-day decision-making authority of the government over those lands. The Framework Agreement states “The Framework Agreement is not a treaty and does not affect treaty rights or other constitutional rights of the First Nations”.
Land Code only applies to our reserve lands and does not impact our traditional territory. This process does not surrender any rights or title to lands beyond reserve.
Land Codes do not alter the rights recognized and protected under UNDRIP. In fact, our Land Code will better enable us to live within the intentions of UNDRIP.