What is a Land Code?
A Land Code is a basic land law. This law would replace some parts parts of the Indian Act that relate to land. Hiawatha First Nation and the Land Code Development Committee, made up of some of our citizens, has been developing the Land Code, which will address things like:
- Rules and procedures for purchasing, selling and registering land
- Financial accountability to citizens for land revenues (such as leases)
- How Hiawatha will make land laws
- A dispute resolution process
A Land Code Will Not
- Affect additions to reserves or land claims
- Increase provincial or municipal jurisdiction
- Affect taxation or tax exemption
- Affect Treaty/Indigenous rights
Land Code Process
This is a First Nation-driven project. First Nations that go through this process develop their own Land Code that reflects their unique laws, priorities and traditions. Once the Land Code is completed, all eligible citizens, both on and off the reserve, will be asked to vote on the Land Code. Nothing is finalized without community approval through a vote.
Hiawatha First Nation has established a Committee to develop the Land Code, hold community consultation meetings, door-to-door visits, locate eligible voters, and develop the community voting process document.
Benefits of a Land Code
- First real recognition of Hiawatha’s right to manage its own lands and resources
- Removal of reserve lands sections from the Indian Act
- Community control over First Nation land management and development
- Inclusion of both on and off-reserve citizens on important decisions
- Increased accountability to citizens
- Enhanced ability for Hiawatha to protect the environment
- Ability to create a local dispute resolution process
First Nations with a Land Code
K’atl’odeeche First Nation celebrate a victory with the adoption of a new Land Code.
Over the next several months, Chief and Council and the Land Code Development Committee will keep citizens informed of the details of the development of the Hiawatha First Nation Land Code.
Nothing will be finalized without citizenship approval.
The Minutes for Hiawatha Chief and Council Meetings are organized by calendar year (January to December). Any citizen who would like more information about the Committee meetings is requested to contact Kelly Dickinson, Lands Assistant/Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-295-7119.