When We Own Our Land, We Control Our Destiny

Accessing the value in our lands provides opportunities for First Nations and members. Through the exercise of permanent jurisdiction, we will continue to obtain the benefit of the land and it will continue to serve as the foundation of our communities and our culture.

The goal of many First Nations is to generate sufficient tax and other revenues from economic development so they are no longer reliant on transfers from the federal government to provide services to our citizens. ILTI is one part of the strategy to break free from dependency and restore our proud culture of independence.

ILTI can help generate new employment opportunities, increase real estate values, increase the number of new homes built, increase independent revenue raised through taxation and increase new infrastructure builds by addressing these challenges on First Nation lands.

Collective Ownership and Title

First Nation ownership will replace existing Government of Canada ownership of reserves. First Nations will have full land management authority as well as broader governmental powers over their lands, which will apply regardless of the type of individual ownership rights are granted. This means jurisdiction over land use, taxation & public services, expropriation powers, and reversionary rights are maintained. Some First Nations are considering this a practical method to convert their title and ownership won in the courts to ownership and jurisdiction.

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Comprehensive Property Rights Options

All types of land tenure options are available under ILTI (rental, lease and ownership). For the first time, community members could hold title to their land and their homes. This will provide members with equity they can use to start a business, renovate their homes, or bequeath wealth to their children. It will mean First Nations will have access to mortgages like other Canadians.

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Improving Access to Capital and Housing

ILTI will create a First Nation title registry to provide legally guaranteed title and priority of registration to ILTI lands. A Torrens registry system combined with individual ownership will provide greater security to access mortgage financing, and improve property values. ILTI will support mortgage financing and facilitate a housing market and business development.

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Facilitating Fast, More Valuable ATRs

ILTI can improve ATRs by ensuring the value of ATR lands are maintained. This will be done by establishing First Nation title and ownership over ATR lands. ILTI will enable the application of First Nation governmental powers related to land and environmental management, development procedures, and taxation. Additionally, ILTI will speed up the ATR process significantly by significantly reducing ATR process and review times because the land title can be directly transferred to First Nations, rather than being transferred to the federal government to be converted into a reserve.

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Aboriginal Title Implementation

The utilization of ILTI in this context would reduce uncertainty on Aboriginal Title lands and facilitate investment by providing guaranteed individual property rights, facilitating efficient registry of property interests in a Torrens registry system, enabling property rights based financing and creating a land title framework to support First Nation fiscal and service jurisdictions.

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Sustainable Economic Development

ILTI will allow First Nations to escape the Indian Act and strengthen its investment climate in order to move at the speed of business. Guaranteed ownership through the registry will reduce the time it takes to conduct land related transactions. ILTI will include a ready-to-use legal framework and sample laws to provide First Nation and investor certainty. It will greatly reduce the time associated with the development of laws and procedures, and close legal gaps related to land title, zoning, development approval, builder’s liens and other laws. As a result, ILTI will localize decision-making authority which should eliminate economic development restrictions in the Indian Act.

Next Steps

The proponent First Nations and the First Nations Tax Commission are seeking to expand the ILTI working group with the proponent First Nations to advance the concept and proposed legislation. Interested First Nations should pass a Band Council Resolution in support of the Indigenous Land Title Initiative and legislative framework.

ILTI is First Nation-led, is optional and expands and protects First Nation jurisdiction. Help to make this idea a reality.