Federal Budget 2018 contains significant investments in the First Nations Land Management regime, including $143.5 million over five years beginning in 2018-19, and $19 million per year ongoing. In December 2018, the First Nations Land Management Act was amended, lowering the voting threshold for ratification and giving First Nations increased flexibility in investing or spending funds generated under the First Nations Land Management Act. As Canada moves towards a strategy of sectoral self-governance —slowly deconstructing the Indian Act rather than negotiating all-encompassing self-governance agreements — the management of reserve lands is becoming a critical component of this model and a supposed means for First Nations to ‘catch up’ to the speed of business and build prosperity for their communities. Though the Land Code may provide First Nations with increased jurisdiction over reserve lands, it does not fundamentally challenge the allocation of land beyond reserves (territory). Also, by opening up reserve lands to the market, it may further contribute to the dispossession of land for First Nations people.
Jobin, Shalene and Emily Riddle. 2019. The Rise of the First Nations Land Management Regime in Canada. Yellowhead Institute: Toronto, Ontario.