END OF BC RESERVES?

Russ Diabo*

This [the letter below from the BC Ministry of Indigenous Relations Assistant Deputy Minister] is what was proposed in the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy!

No Aboriginal Title Land Registry like in Australia?

This fits with the 9 Modern Treaties in BC, Self-Government Agreements, Land Codes and Delegated Taxation Authority.

A template for the rest of Canada, once the rest of the provinces get on board?

BC gov't is "proposing to bring forward legislation for gov't's consideration to enable First Nations, that are recognized as legal entities under federal law, to acquire, hold, & DISPOSE OF LAND & register their interests in the Land Title Office."

Two charts related federal charts are available from Rus Diabo, rdiabo@rogers.com.

Ministry of Indigenous Relations Assistant Deputy Minister Mailing Address: Website: www.gov.bc.ca/irr, December 12, 2023 Ref. 60323

Dear First Nations Leaders:

The Province is committed to implement and meet the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples supported by the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act). Currently, First Nations who are Indian Act bands, and other federally recognized First Nation entities, are unable to register land in the Province's Land Title Office in the name of their First Nation and have had to rely on proxies to hold land. First Nations have long called for a solution – from any level of government – to remove this discriminatory barrier to ownership of land.

With support and guidance from First Nations, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (MIRR) and Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (WLRS) are proposing to bring forward legislation for government's consideration to enable First Nations, that are recognized as legal entities under federal law, to acquire, hold, and dispose of land and register their interests in the Land Title Office. The proposed legislative amendments will enable those First Nations to hold lands in their own name while the Province and First Nations work to implement the Declaration Act.

The proposed legislative changes will enable Indian Act bands and other federally recognized First Nations communities to have the choice to register land interests in their own First Nations name. First Nations could hold land in their own First Nations name or register interests in the Land Title Office through alternative arrangements (e.g., corporations, societies, and proxies). These changes are intended to also reduce the administrative barriers First Nations face when seeking to register land.

MIRR and WLRS invite you or your representative to participate in consultation and cooperation with the Province to further develop the proposal and inform the potential development of legislation.

We are eager to hear your views. Introductory engagement sessions will be held in a virtual format. To accommodate scheduling, the session will repeat and be held on December 18, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., January 8, 2024, at 3:00 p.m., January 10, 2024, at 8:30 a.m., and January 12, 2024, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Each session will be identical, and it is not necessary to attend more than one. The sessions will be approximately one and a half hours in length. This will include an opportunity for you to share your initial thoughts, as well as information on how to engage further. Additional sessions may be held later in January.

If you would like to attend one of these sessions, or wish to provide comments, please email Colleen.Gellein@gov.bc.ca. Please note that any comments you would like brought forward for government's consideration must be provided by January 31, 2024.

In conjunction with the engagement sessions, the Province will be publishing further information on our public webpages in the near future. Please let Colleen know if you'd like to be alerted when the information is available, and we can direct you to it.

We appreciate your input on this important initiative and look forward to our continued work together.

Sincerely,

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Carolyn Kamper

Assistant Deputy Minister Assistant Deputy Minister Negotiations and Regional Operations Reconciliation, Lands and Natural Division Resource Policy

Colin Ward

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Reconciliation – Stewardship

*Russell Diabo is a First Nations Policy Analyst, rdiabo@rogers.com, Cell: (613) 296-011.