Additions to Reserve

Additions to Reserve Online Feedback Process Concluded

The Government of Canada would like to express its appreciation to participants who shared their perspectives on how to improve the process for Additions to Reserve (ATR) and reduce delays.

The Government requested feedback on the proposed revisions to the Policy on Additions to Reserve and Reserve Creation. This was communicated to all First Nation communities across Canada, as well as to provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders for feedback during the comment period beginning on July 26, 2013 through to October 31, 2013.

Revising the Policy - Unlocking First Nations Economic Potential

In the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, the Government of Canada committed to improving community access to lands and resources by speeding up processes for Additions to Reserve (ATR). Expanding the reserve land base through ATR is an important mechanism by which First Nations can foster economic development in their communities.

There are many reasons why a First Nation may seek to add land to reserve. The existing federal ATR policy allows for Additions to Reserve to be proposed to fulfill a legal obligation (such as a treaty land entitlement or a claim settlement agreement), for community growth or for the creation of a new reserve.

Since 2006, a total of 339,982 hectares have been added to reserve working with the 2001 Additions to Reserves/New Reserves Policy. This represents approximately a 10 per cent increase of the First Nations land base since 2006.

Despite progress achieved, the Government agrees that further actions are required to streamline, simplify and accelerate the process of adding lands to reserve. The Government of Canada is committed to working with First Nations' to develop an improved ATR process that will increase First Nations' access to lands and resources and economic opportunities.

New policy

In bringing forward the proposed revisions to the Policy on Additions to Reserve and Reserve Creation, the Government is responding to multiple requests for change that were brought to the attention of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples'. The Government Response (PDF, 329 Kb, 3 pp.) to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples' Report, Additions to Reserve: Expediting the Process (PDF, 153 Kb 31 pp.) identifies several ways in which the ATR process will be improved. The proposed changes also take into account the input which led to the recommendations made by the Auditor General of Canada for improvements to the ATR process.

The proposed revisions to the Policy on Additions to Reserve and Reserve Creation would:

  • Streamline the ATR proposal and remove duplication
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Facilitate economic development

The input gathered during the public comment period is being used to finalize the new ATR policy. The Department will provide a summary of the input received at the time we release the final version of the new policy.

What Information is Available?

You may also be interested in: