Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of First Nations Certainty of Land Title Act
"The bill amends the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) to enable participating First Nations communities to request that the Government of Canada make regulations respecting the establishment and operation of a system for the registration of interests and rights in reserve lands that would replicate the provincial land title or registry system. The proposed legislation is optional. Its application is dependent on a First Nation having a private-sector proponent and a province willing to participate."You can track the bill on the LEGISinfo website.
"Attracting private investment on First Nations lands has become an issue of increasing priority for federal, provincial and First Nations governments. Inefficiencies affecting land registry systems on reserves are widely considered to be disincentives to economic development and impede outside investment. Currently, most interests in reserve lands are registered in the federal Indian Lands Registry System (ILRS), not in the provincial land title system. The ILRS has been criticized as lacking the necessary rigour to protect third parties' legal interests in land. In addition, the transaction costs can be significantly higher as the parties must search a number of historical documents to ascertain effective title."
"Given the effect of these uncertainties on potential investors, First Nations are often unable to realize the full value and benefit of their lands. The economic consulting firm Fiscal Realities concluded that 'the cost of establishing a marketable property right on First Nation land is at least four times more expensive than establishing the same property right off First Nation lands.' Accordingly, the primary objective of the proposed legislation is to establish a First Nations land title system that can support private investment by enabling legal interests in the lands to be more easily 'defined, enforced and traded.' At the request of a First Nation, on-reserve commercial real estate developments could be registered in a system that replicates the more efficient, accessible and secure provincial land title systems, thereby helping to make the value of on-reserve land and properties comparable to that of equivalent properties off reserves."
"The Squamish First Nation in British Columbia is at the forefront of the proposed amendments to the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act. In an effort to realize the 'highest and best use' of its reserve lands, in particular with regard to proposed commercial condominium developments in West Vancouver, the Squamish have requested legislation enabling the establishment of a First Nations land title system."