A First Nation can make their own laws (by-laws) to regulate and control certain activities on reserve, such as trespassing, construction (zoning), taxation and transportation. For example, a First Nation may make a by-law to collect taxes when reserve land is used for a hydro line or gas pipeline. The Indian Act lists the circumstances in which a First Nation can make by-laws. The Indian Taxation Advisory Board (ITAB), which is an agency that is separate from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), has authority over all taxation bylaws; sample taxation bylaws for First Nations are available on the ITAB website.
AANDC offers training workshops and sample bylaws. AANDC also reviews bylaws and provides advice to First Nations that are creating their own by-laws. All by-laws are recorded and classified. The AANDC has a repository where by-laws are stored. You may contact a First Nation and/or the AANDC regional office for copies of the First Nation's by-laws.
For further information on by-laws, visit the links below or contact Main Reception and ask to speak to a Band Governance Officer in Community Development.
- Indian Act: Powers Of The Council (by-laws)
- Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada
(The Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada (AFOA) is the centre for excellence and innovation in Aboriginal finance and management.)
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