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Lands On Reserves

No Indian is lawfully in possession of land in a reserve unless the band council has consented and it is approved by the Minister, who may then issue him a Certificate of Possession. If a person on September 4th, 1951 held a valid Location Ticket he is also in lawful possession of the land which it describes.

The Minister does not have to approve the band council's decision to give an Indian a certain portion of land. Instead the Minister may allow the Indian to live on that land temporarily and fulfil certain conditions before he gives his approval.

In these cases the Indian gets a Certificate of Occupation which gives him the right to occupy the land for two years. At the end of the two years the Minister may:

(a) Extend the term for another two years, or

(b) Issue a Certificate of Possession if he feels the conditions have been fulfilled, or

(c) Refuse approval and declare that the land go back to the band.

The Department shall keep a registrar (Reserve Land Registrar) in which all land transactions shall be recorded.

Where an Indian has made permanent improvements on lands to which he has possession and it then becomes part of a reserve, he becomes lawfully in possession of that land.


In 1969 the Government sponsored a series of meetings to which representatives of Indian Bands were invited to discuss the effect of the Act in the light of proposals put forward by Indian Advisory Councils.

At those meetings the Indian representatives made it apparent that they sought a fundamental review of the future position of Indian people in Canadian society. They largely endorsed a special status for registered Indians but were unable to define the full range of rights they sought.

Claims and grievances of many kinds were frequently raised. The mechanics of legislation were less important to most of the representatives than were the fundamentals.

In June, 1969 the Government responded with a series of policy proposals which had as their objective ultimate full and equal participation of Indian people in all phases of Canadian life - cultural, social, economic and political. It aimed to give Indians the same freedoms, rights and opportunities as other Canadians while ensuring the survival and development foreseen that in due course, special status would no longer be required.

The six major points of the Policy were:

(a) That the legislative and constitutional basis of discrimination be removed;
(b) That there be positive recognition by everyone of the unique contribution of Indian culture to Canadian life;
(c) That services come through the same channels and from the same Government agencies for all Canadians;
(d) That those who are furthest behind be helped most
(e) That lawful obligations be recognized;
(f) That control of Indian lands be transferred to the Indian people.

Five major steps were proposed to carry out the major proposals.
(a) Repeal the Indian Act and prepare an Indian Lands Act;
(b) Provide funds to provinces to enable them to extend all their services to Indian people.
(c) Make substantial funds available for Indian Economic Development;
(d) Appoint a Commissioner on Indian claims to consult with Indians and study and recommend acceptable procedures for adjudicating claims
(e) Phase out the Indian Affairs Branch.

Lands On Reserves

In the same way a person whose name is on the general list may be admitted into membership of a band.

What happens when a woman marries outside of her band? An example is given in the hope that it will best express the idea we are working with here. Assume a woman from Cowesses marries someone not a member, for example John who is on the general list - the result is that she loses membership from Sakimay she automatically becomes a band member of the latter band.

Payments to persons ceasing to be members: if a person has "enfranchised out", or should marry out of a band, the Federal government gives to her one per capita share of capital and revenue monies of the band funds, plus twenty years annuities. When this money is payable to someone under 21 years of age, the Minister may withhold the money until that person reaches 21 or pay the money to the infant's parent or guardian.

When an Indian enfranchises or for other reasons ceases to be a member of a band (marries out) he or she is usually entitled to 20 years annuities plus one per capita share of the bands capital and revenue fund. This is not the case, however if the band membership ceases because of a protest as described earlier. In this case provision is made that the Minister shall "if he considers equitable to do so" authorize payment out of monies set aside by parliament of such compensation as he determines for improvements made by that band to the buildings or to the land.

The one per capita share of band funds plus 20 years annuities formula applies when persons cease to be band members by enfranchisement or marrying out of status. When a person of one band becomes a member of another band (marriage or otherwise) there is transfer to the credit of the second band of that same amount.

Transfer of members interest: - if a member should leave Band X and go to Band Y as a member, that person is not entitled to monies or land held by the Federal government in trust for Band X but he is entitled to same interest in common in lands and monies held by the Federal government in trust for Band Y as other members of Band Y.