Working with Reserve Lands and Resources

Indian reserve lands are held by the Government of Canada (Crown), on behalf of First Nations for the use and benefit of First Nations. As a result, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and First Nation governments are each responsible for managing different aspects of reserve lands and resources.

The rules and regulations for managing reserve lands are set out in the Indian Act. These rules provide direction on allotting lawful possession of reserve land to a First Nations person (Certificate of Possession), leasing reserve land to a non-band member or company (including a First Nation corporation) for business purposes, and/or providing land use rights to local or other governments for projects such as roads, power lines, or pipelines. The Indian Act also includes regulations for the sale of natural resources located on reserve, such as timber, sand or gravel.

For further information, contact AANDC BC Region main reception and ask to speak to a representative in Lands and Economic Development.