Matrimonial Real Property on Reserves
"It's about women and men living on reserves getting the same rights and protections as every other Canadian."-the Honourable Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Minister of Revenue, National Revenue. Source Source: Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt, holds a news conference to make an important announcement regarding the Family Homes on Reserves or Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
In collaboration with First Nation people, communities and groups, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) developed legislation to address a long-standing and unacceptable legislative gap regarding matrimonial real property on reserves. The legislation called the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (Act) received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013. At Royal Assent, sections 54 and 55 of the Act came into force. The first part of the Act - the First Nation law-making mechanism - came into force by Order in Council on December 16, 2013.
The provisions in the Act that provide for the enactment of First Nation laws respecting on-reserve matrimonial real property came into force on December 16, 2013. The provisional federal rules in the Act, are in force on December 16, 2014, after a twelve-month transition period. The provisional federal rules will fill the legislative gap in the absence of a First Nation's own laws enacted either under this or other federal legislation.
As of December 16, 2013 – First Nation Law-Making Mechanism Came Into Force
The first part of the Act - the First Nation law-making mechanism - came into force on December 16, 2013. Under sections 7-11 of the Act, First Nation communities can choose to enact their own matrimonial real property laws.
First Nation communities choosing to create their own matrimonial real property laws under the Act must take the steps to ratify their own laws. The provisional federal rules will not apply to a First Nation community that brings into effect their own laws under the Act before the provisional federal rules came into force.
Provisional Federal Rules
The protections and rights provided by the provisional federal rules set out in sections 12 to 52 of the Act, are in force on December 16, 2014, after the transition period.
The 12-month transition period was added to the Act to provide time for First Nations to enact their own laws before the federal provisional rules take effect. However, First Nations are not limited to the 12-month transition period and may enact their community-specific laws at any time now that the Act is in force. After the transition period, as soon as a First Nation enacts its matrimonial real property law under the legislation the provisional federal rules in the Act will no longer apply to that community.
To assist First Nation communities, a Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property, operating at arm's length from the Government of Canada, is in place. Hosted by the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA), this resource centre assists First Nations with the understanding and application of the new Act, by helping to guide First Nations who are opting to develop their own matrimonial real property laws. The Centre provides information on the protections and rights available to individuals and families living on reserves, research on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as the provisional federal rules.
- News Release - Law Aimed at Improving the Rights of Aboriginal women and Their Families Comes into Force - December 16, 2014
- News Release - Legislation to Improve the Rights of Women and their Families Living on First Nation Reserves Comes Into Force - December 18, 2013
- Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
- Application of the Legislation
- Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property
- List of First Nations with Matrimonial Real Property Laws Under the Act
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Training and Education for Front-line Providers
- Desk Book: Estates, Reserve Lands Management and Implementation Support for the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests and Rights Act
- History of Measures to Address the On-reserve Matrimonial Real Property Issue
- Issue Papers
- Legislation Information: Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
- Public Awareness
- Reference Documents
- Report of the Ministerial Representative Matrimonial Real Property Issues on Reserves
- Scenarios reflecting impact of current legislative gap
- Video outlining the Legislation
- Myths and Facts
- Province of Manitoba Resolution of Support for Bill S-2
- Information Sheet - The Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
- Information Sheet: Coming into Force of the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Community Lands Development Directorate
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington Street
Gatineau (Hull) QC K1A 0H4
Tel.: (toll-free) 1-800-567-9604
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