Land Code – First Nations Lands Management Act
Wei Wai Kum’s Land Code (ratified in 2011) enable all the rights, powers and privileges of an owner over reserve lands. Lands and natural resources that were previously managed under the Indian Act are now governed under the Wei Wai Kum Land Code. This power extends to the administrative management aspect and the governance and jurisdictional elements of land management. Exercising jurisdiction has local government type-powers over areas such as land use planning, conservation and economic development on reserve lands, but also federal type-powers such as the establishment of laws under which interests are created, transferred and registered.
Kwiakah is currently exploring developing a Land Code and is working alongside the Lands Advisory Board Resource Centre.
The First Nations Fiscal Management Act was ratified by Wei Wai Kum in 2011 with a corresponding Financial Administration Law signed in 2019. By enacting property taxation Wei Wai Kum has jurisdiction on reserve land. Property taxation jurisdiction is a fundamental pillar of financing government and future economic growth. Real property taxation provides Wei Wai Kum with an independent, stable and flexible source of revenue, which can be reinvested to improve services, respond to priorities, and address shortcomings in economic infrastructure.
Wei Wai Kum First Nation enacted a Property Taxation and Property Assessment bylaw in 2003. The Band collects property taxes from the commercial properties located on Campbell River Indian Reserve #11 (E.g. Home Depot, Walmart, Nyrstar, Telus etc).
Tax revenue is used to pay for the services the Band provides to its commercial tenants, (E.g fire protection, utility infrastructure, etc). These revenues also support programs and services offered to the Wei Wai Kum community (E.g. Elders Program, Infrastructure upgrades, Youth programs etc).
Fulfilling consultation obligations owed to First Nations
Minimizing Impacts, Communicating Interests, and Protecting Lands & Resources in Cooperation with regional Nations
Wei Wai Kum is a signatory to the Nanwakolas Council Strategic Engagement Agreement. First Nations participating in the Nanwakolas Referrals Office include, Mamalilikulla First Nation, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala First Nation, Tlowitsis First Nation, K’ómoks First Nation and Wei Wai Kum Nation.
Nanwakolas’ mandate is to protect and advocate for the recognition of the Aboriginal rights by:
- ensuring First Nations are aware of all resource development activities proposed or ongoing within their traditional territories;
- facilitating timely and effective responses to province resource development referrals that set out the views of the First Nation regarding the proposed development; and
- facilitating the resolution of issues raised by a participating First Nations
Other referrals including Municipal and Federal Referrals are addressed directly through Wei Wai Kum Lands office.
Kwiakah has chosen to work independently with referrals and in 2016 withdrew from the Nanwakolas Nation Council Strategic Engagement Agreement. In 2019 Kwiakah cancelled its Nanwakolas membership. Kwiakah has a strong internally led referrals process to ensure its aboriginal rights are protected in its traditional territory and development issues are raised and communicated with the proponent through the respective Governments.
A specific claim is a claim made by a First Nation against Canada for a historic wrong. Claims include cases where Canada has either breached its obligation managing a First Nation’s assets including reserve lands, band monies and natural resources. A specific claim example may pertain to mistakes in surveying a reserve or the illegal removal of land from a reserve. Specific claims are taken to Canada for negotiation and settlement. While no specific claims are currently filed by Wei Wai Kum or Kwiakah today, the future option remains open to launch claims regarding injustices in the future.
Learn more about Specific Claims here.