July 17, 2024

Obligate Law

Professional Law Makers

BC proposes legislative changes to support First Nations land ownership

1 min read
BC proposes legislative changes to support First Nations land ownership

Traditionally, First Nations entities, barring exceptions through treaties or specific federal laws, have faced restrictions in directly acquiring, holding or disposing of land in their names. The process typically requires navigating additional administrative hurdles, such as establishing a corporation or employing alternative mechanisms like proxies, federal trusts, or societies.

According to the provincial government, the proposed legislative amendments aim to simplify these processes, granting First Nations, recognized as legal entities under federal law, equivalent legal capacities as individuals and corporations for land registration and ownership in the B.C. land title office. These changes are intended to align the administrative procedures for First Nations with those applicable to corporations and Modern Treaty Nations.

Bill 13 will introduce amendments to the Property Law Act and the Land Title Act, facilitating the land registration process for First Nations and ensuring the legal recognition of such documents by the registrar and third parties acting in good faith with First Nations.

This legislative proposal results from extensive consultations with First Nations, Modern Treaty Nations, the federal government, local governments, and industry and business organizations. The feedback from these consultations has been documented in a “what we heard” report, illustrating the range of perspectives on the proposed legislative amendments.

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