Treaties and Land Claims: Background Content

First Nations Land Management Regime

Fed. Govt.

First Nations Land Management Act

“Some First Nations have unlocked greater economic development on reserve lands by opting out of the Indian Act system of lands management in favour of the First Nations Land Management Act. Those First Nations operating within the regime have witnessed a dramatic increase in new businesses, internal investment, and employment opportunities on reserve. These communities also use their revenues to invest back into the community, which in turn strengthens education and employment outcomes and reduces dependence on social programs.”

Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development – Progress Report – June 2014

The First Nations Land Management (FNLM) Regime, enacted in 1999, allows First Nations to opt out of 32 sections of the Indian Act relating to land management. First Nations can then develop their own laws about land use, the environment and natural resources and take advantage of economic development opportunities with their new land management powers.

As of Nov. 25, 2021 there are 194 Framework Agreement signatory First Nations across Canada representing 31.4% of the 617 First Nations.


  1. Only 3 First Nations – Sliammon, Tsawwassen and Westbank – are currently implementing full Self-Government
  2. Yukon has already implemented Final and Self-Government Agreements

December 15, 2016

Fed. Govt.

KPMG Report “First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Partial Benefit-Cost Study Findings Final Report

KPMG issued a Final Report on December 15, 2016 – “First Nations Land Management Resource Centre Partial Benefit-Cost Study Findings Final Report” – whose results are considered “very conservative”. The findings indicated substantial economic benefits to Canada. KPMG modeled the net economic benefits (i.e., the “profits”) associated with only a small number of First Nations projects which were believed to have the highest economic impacts (informally called “big winners”). The findings indicate substantial economic benefits to Canada.

Under the best estimate scenarios for each case study, the Framework Agreement (FA) may provide a positive net return to Canada of between roughly $270 million and $1.4 billion (depending on the discount rate used), modelled over the anticipated lifetime of the projects considered in the PBCA (Partial Benefit-Cost Analysis). That is, the five big winner projects alone may generate profits of $270 million to $1.4 billion over and above the entire FA costs, plus the costs of building and running these five projects, over their assumed lifetime.

October 30, 2018

Fed. Govt.

Proposed Amendments to First Nations Land Management Act

These amendments were developed in partnership with the institutions that operate under this Act, the Lands Advisory Board and the First Nations Land Management Resource Centre, and approved by unanimous resolution from participating First Nations.

Amendments to the Act will improve First Nation Land Management for existing communities and simplify the entry process for future participants. While significant, the amendments are mostly administrative in nature and form the first phase of a broader land reform strategy.

Examples include:

  • aligning voting procedures to other democratic processes in Canada;
  • acknowledging Canada’s support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • transferring control of community monies to First Nations; and
  • creating protections for First Nation employees like those that exist in other levels of government, such as limiting personal liability in the conduct of their duties.

Other Background Content By Theme

Treaty Land Entitlements

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Specific Claims

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Comprehensive Claims and Modern Treaties

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Historical Treaties of Canada and First Nations

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