Chapter IV – The Future

Proponent First Nations will write the future of ILTI. They will lead its passage. They will direct implementation. They will determine what it is used for. Here are a number of ideas they have suggested:

Implementation of Aboriginal Title

ILTI may represent a practical approach to implement aboriginal title claims for interested First Nations.  Although it has not been tested, it is expected that most First Nations can directly assert aboriginal title to their reserve lands.  They can confirm this aboriginal title through the courts or it could be recognized through legislation or by agreement.  Where a First Nation has opted into ILTI and has aboriginal title recognized to its reserves than the First Nations would have both crown and aboriginal title. If this approach is successful, ILTI may be a means to implement aboriginal title on other territorial lands.

Speed up Additions to First Nation Lands

ILTI can improve ATRs by ensuring the value of ATR lands is maintained.  This will be done by transferring the ATR lands to the ILTI First Nation, who will then exercise its governmental powers over those lands.  Additionally, ILTI will speed up the ATR process significantly by reducing ATR process and review times because the land would not have to be transferred to the federal government to be converted into a reserve.  Land title can be directly transferred to First Nations and existing interests in the lands can be maintained in the ILTI Land Title Registry.  This will significantly reduce ATR review time and associated costs.

Provide Member Housing

ILTI will create a First Nation Torrens 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.  Greater home equity can be used to finance businesses, education, and retirement and bequeath wealth to the next generation.

Supporting Economic Development 

ILTI will allow First Nations to escape the Indian Act and strengthen their investment climate in order to move at the speed of business.  Guaranteed ownership through the Torrens registry will reduce the time it takes to conduct land related transactions.  A Torrens title registry reduces transaction costs for transfers and mortgages by at least 75% compared to those associated with the ILRS.  ILTI will include a ready-to-use legal framework 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 will eliminate economic development restrictions in the Indian Act.

Implementation of Section 35 Inherent Rights

ILTI may provide a means to accomplish recognition of aboriginal title and jurisdiction.  ILTI presents an opportunity to test the theory that federal legislation under Canada’s section 91(24) authority provides one part of an orderly process to implement section 35.  This process occurs when the federal government vacates an area of jurisdiction and First Nations occupy it. Although not tested, it is possible that ILTI and, where necessary, similar provincial legislation provides a path to implement s.35 inherent rights and title for participating First Nations.