Following years of feedback from signatory Nations and the Lands Advisory Board (LAB), Canada repealed the First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA), and enaged the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management Act (FAFNLMA).
The FNLMA came about in the early 1990s when a group of Nation leaders approached the government to allow Nations to opt out of a some of the restrictive land management provisions of the Indian Act. The results of these negotiations was the Framework Agreement.
The FNLMA was intended to bring the Framework Agreement into force, however the FNLMA has been critizied for years by signatory First Nations and the LAB for being duplicative of, and inconsistent with, the Framework Agreement.
With the December 2022 Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022, Canada heard calls from signatory Nations and the LAB, enacting the FAFNLMA, which
- ~ removes the duplicative, unneccessary and inconsistent wording around Land Code adoption;
- ~ creates clearer notification rules when challenges are made to Land Code provisions, the FAFNLMA, or the Framework Agreement; and
- ~ creates greater clarity by deferring entirely to the Framework Agreement as law.
Importantly, the FAFNLMA will not disturb existing land codes, not any laws passed or intersts confirmed, granted, or transferred under such existing land codes.
The changes mean that, over the years, the feedback the federal government received mattered. Today, the Framework Agreement now governs more closely to its original intent, which was to provide recognition for First Nations’ Inherent Right to govern their reserve lands.
As Chief Robert Louis, the Chairman of the Lands Advisory Board, described it, “[t]his will put the focus back on the First Nation driven Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management document as it always should have been.”