Grants to Implement Comprehensive Land Claims and Self-Government Agreements

Terms and Conditions

1.0 Introduction

These terms and conditions apply to transfer payments made under both comprehensive land claim and self-government agreements.

Comprehensive land claim agreements and self-government agreements (hereafter "modern treaties") are based on two federal government policies: The Comprehensive Land Claims Policy (1986); and the Government of Canada's Approach to Implementation of the Inherent Right and the Negotiation of Aboriginal Self-Government (1995) - most commonly referred to as the Inherent Right Policy.

The Comprehensive Land Claims Policy stipulates that land claims may be negotiated with Aboriginal groups in areas where claims to Aboriginal title have not been addressed by treaties or through other legal means. Comprehensive land claims are based on the assertion of continuing Aboriginal rights and title. Comprehensive land claim agreements provide certainty and finality respecting rights to ownership, use of lands and resources, including marine resources, which may contribute to increased economic development and self-sufficiency for Aboriginal groups. They provide a framework which encourages social and economic development, thereby benefiting Aboriginal people, government and third parties. Comprehensive land claim agreements also foster the development of institutions at both the community and collaborative signatory levels that facilitate the achievement of various planned outcomes arising from the agreements.

Under the Inherent Right Policy, the Government of Canada's recognition of the inherent right of self-government is based on the view that the Aboriginal peoples of Canada have a right to govern themselves in relation to matters that are internal to their communities, integral to their unique cultures, identities, traditions, languages and institutions, and with respect to their special relationship to their land and resources. Self-government agreements set out arrangements for Aboriginal groups to govern their internal affairs and assume greater responsibility and control over the decision-making that affects their communities.

The other significant feature of self-government agreements is the change in relationship between the parties. A new relationship is created wherein Aboriginal signatories constitute governments in their own right. As a result, the parties to the agreements form government-to-government-to government relationships that transform how they relate to and collaborate with one another. Self-government agreements include a provision that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms will apply to Aboriginal governments and institutions in regard to all matters within their respective jurisdictions and authorities. They provide men and women, who are beneficiaries under the agreement, with the continued protection of the Charter.

To support increased authority and decision-making powers for Aboriginal governments and other recipients with implementation obligations under modern treaties, financial arrangements need to provide maximum flexibility to set budgets and re-profile funds in order to meet community priorities and program needs.  Financial arrangements also contribute to an Aboriginal government's ability to engage in long term planning and budgeting, for the purpose of meeting longer-term community objectives.

2.0 Legal and Policy Authority

Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985, c.I-6., s. 4

Constitution Act, 1982 - Section 35

Yukon First Nations Land Claims Settlement Act, S.C., July 1994, c.3

Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, and Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act

3.0 Purpose, Program Objectives and Expected Results

The purpose of this transfer payment program is to enable recipient organizations to carry out and manage all one-time and ongoing obligations as set out in the negotiated final agreements and implementation agreements; thereby meeting the government's objective to settle and implement comprehensive land claims, combined comprehensive land claims and self-government agreements, comprehensive self-government agreements and sectoral self-government agreements. 

DIAND supports fostering effective institutions at both the individual community and collaborative levels to provide stability, clear "rules of the game", cultural "continuity" and cultural "match" with historical ways of governing, strategic planning capability, and fostering citizen engagement. 

Program objectives are met through effective governing institutions that further support First Nations and Inuit governments in managing resources, in delivering programs and services, and in formulating, implementing and enforcing sound policies and regulations.  Some institutions support governments and other partners in areas such as research, governance, education and the environment.  Well-managed and well-led communities are stable, accountable and cohesive at the community level.  Their governments are recognized as legitimate.  As such, they are better able to partner with other levels of government, and the private sector. The department supports these institutions through funding, research and participation.

Grant funding is used to reinforce government's objective of providing increased autonomy for Aboriginal of groups to achieve results for their citizens or land claim beneficiaries. 

Expected results of the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties include stable and sustainable Aboriginal governments, control and jurisdiction of programs and services, clarity and certainty of ownership and access to lands and resources, and stable, predictable environment for economic development. The implementation of performance measurement strategies allows for data to be collected that support: 

  • Reporting on the negotiation and impacts of modern treaties;
  • Informed decision making based on results;
  • Periodic evaluations.

A key performance indicator is the number of annual reports, tripartite committee and Board meetings to implement the treaties.

In the Program Activity Architecture, this authority is listed under The Government / Aboriginal Rights and Interests.

4.0 Eligibility

Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients are Aboriginal groups and provincial/territorial governments. A signed self-government agreement or modern treaty (modern treaties would be those negotiated since 1973 under Canada's Comprehensive Claims policy or those under the Inherent Right Policy since 1995) is to be in place for Aboriginal groups and provincial/territorial governments to be eligible for a grant for the purpose of fulfilling their general implementation responsibilities.

Post enactment of legislation, the recipient must be a First Nation government or any entity referred to in the Final Agreement.

Eligible Initiatives and Projects

One-time and ongoing initiatives and projects related to the implementation of negotiated final agreements, implementation agreements and fiscal financing agreements.

Programs and services delivered by the eligible recipients as agreed-upon within their respective agreements, treaty agreement or self-government agreement.

5.0 Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures

Expenditures consistent with one-time and ongoing activities, programs and services by the recipients as agreed-upon required to implement the obligations as set out in the negotiated final agreements, implementation plans and fiscal financing agreements.

6.0 Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limits

Total government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.

7.0 Method for Determining the Amount of Funding

Amount of funding required to implement final agreements in accordance with implementation agreements and fiscal financing agreements as negotiated by DIAND with the parties to the agreement and approved by Cabinet and/or Treasury Board.

8.0 Maximum Amount Payable

The maximum amount payable will vary annually in accordance with levels negotiated between Canada and the respective eligible recipient. This applies to either one time or ongoing funding identified in negotiated final agreements, implementation agreements or funding agreements. Amounts provided will not exceed applicable financial mandates.

9.0 Basis on Which Payments Will Be Made

For payments to other orders of government, the basis on which payment frequency will be made is in accordance with final agreements and related implementing documents.

10.0 Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria

Funding will be made to qualified recipient organizations carrying out an implementation activity as defined in the final agreement and implementation agreements.

11.0 Due Diligence and Reporting

To support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected using various methods and sources. Recipient requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents. Frequency of reporting will be based on recipient risk.

12.0 Official Languages

Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.

13.0 Other Terms and Conditions

None.