Indian Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2019-08-15. Previous Versions
Definition and Registration of Indians (continued)
Marginal note:Inquiries relating to Indian Register or Band Lists
14.1 The Registrar shall, on inquiry from any person who believes that he or any person he represents is entitled to have his name included in the Indian Register or a Band List maintained in the Department, indicate to the person making the inquiry whether or not that name is included therein.
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 4
14.2 (1) A protest may be made in respect of the inclusion or addition of the name of a person in, or the omission or deletion of the name of a person from, the Indian Register, or a Band List maintained in the Department, within three years after the inclusion or addition, or omission or deletion, as the case may be, by notice in writing to the Registrar, containing a brief statement of the grounds therefor.
Marginal note:Protest in respect of Band List
(2) A protest may be made under this section in respect of the Band List of a band by the council of the band, any member of the band or the person in respect of whose name the protest is made or that person’s representative.
Marginal note:Protest in respect of Indian Register
(3) A protest may be made under this section in respect of the Indian Register by the person in respect of whose name the protest is made or that person’s representative.
Marginal note:Onus of proof
(4) The onus of establishing the grounds of a protest under this section lies on the person making the protest.
Marginal note:Registrar to cause investigation
(5) Where a protest is made to the Registrar under this section, the Registrar shall cause an investigation to be made into the matter and render a decision.
(6) For the purposes of this section, the Registrar may receive such evidence on oath, on affidavit or in any other manner, whether or not admissible in a court of law, as the Registrar, in his discretion, sees fit or deems just.
Marginal note:Decision final
(7) Subject to section 14.3, the decision of the Registrar under subsection (5) is final and conclusive.
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 4
14.3 (1) Within six months after the Registrar renders a decision on a protest under section 14.2,
(a) in the case of a protest in respect of the Band List of a band, the council of the band, the person by whom the protest was made, or the person in respect of whose name the protest was made or that person’s representative, or
(b) in the case of a protest in respect of the Indian Register, the person in respect of whose name the protest was made or that person’s representative,
may, by notice in writing, appeal the decision to a court referred to in subsection (5).
Marginal note:Copy of notice of appeal to the Registrar
(2) Where an appeal is taken under this section, the person who takes the appeal shall forthwith provide the Registrar with a copy of the notice of appeal.
Marginal note:Material to be filed with the court by Registrar
(3) On receipt of a copy of a notice of appeal under subsection (2), the Registrar shall forthwith file with the court a copy of the decision being appealed together with all documentary evidence considered in arriving at that decision and any recording or transcript of any oral proceedings related thereto that were held before the Registrar.
(4) The court may, after hearing an appeal under this section,
(a) affirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Registrar; or
(b) refer the subject-matter of the appeal back to the Registrar for reconsideration or further investigation.
(5) An appeal may be heard under this section
(a) in the Province of Quebec, before the Superior Court for the district in which the band is situated or in which the person who made the protest resides, or for such other district as the Minister may designate;
(a.1) in the Province of Ontario, before the Superior Court of Justice;
(b) in the Province of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Alberta, before the Court of Queen’s Bench;
(c) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, before the Trial Division of the Supreme Court;
(c.1) [Repealed, 1992, c. 51, s. 54]
(d) in the Province of Nova Scotia, British Columbia or Prince Edward Island, in Yukon or in the Northwest Territories, before the Supreme Court; or
(e) in Nunavut, before the Nunavut Court of Justice.
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 4, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 10
- 1990, c. 16, s. 14, c. 17, s. 25
- 1992, c. 51, s. 54
- 1998, c. 30, s. 14
- 1999, c. 3, s. 69
- 2002, c. 7, s. 183
- 2015, c. 3, s. 118
Payments in Respect of Persons Ceasing To Be Band Members
15 (1) to (4) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 5]
Marginal note:Commutation of payments under former Act
(5) Where, prior to September 4, 1951, any woman became entitled, under section 14 of the Indian Act, chapter 98 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, or any prior provisions to the like effect, to share in the distribution of annuities, interest moneys or rents, the Minister may, in lieu thereof, pay to that woman out of the moneys of the band an amount equal to ten times the average annual amounts of the payments made to her during the ten years last preceding or, if they were paid for less than ten years, during the years they were paid.
- R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 15
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 5
16 (1) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 6]
Marginal note:Transferred member’s interest
(2) A person who ceases to be a member of one band by reason of becoming a member of another band is not entitled to any interest in the lands or moneys held by Her Majesty on behalf of the former band, but is entitled to the same interest in common in lands and moneys held by Her Majesty on behalf of the latter band as other members of that band.
(3) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 6]
- R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 16
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 6
Marginal note:Minister may constitute new bands
17 (1) The Minister may, whenever he considers it desirable,
(a) amalgamate bands that, by a vote of a majority of their electors, request to be amalgamated; and
(b) constitute new bands and establish Band Lists with respect thereto from existing Band Lists, or from the Indian Register, if requested to do so by persons proposing to form the new bands.
Marginal note:Division of reserves and funds
(2) Where pursuant to subsection (1) a new band has been established from an existing band or any part thereof, such portion of the reserve lands and funds of the existing band as the Minister determines shall be held for the use and benefit of the new band.
Marginal note:No protest
(3) No protest may be made under section 14.2 in respect of the deletion from or the addition to a Band List consequent on the exercise by the Minister of any of the Minister’s powers under subsection (1).
- R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 17
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 7
Marginal note:Reserves to be held for use and benefit of Indians
18 (1) Subject to this Act, reserves are held by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of the respective bands for which they were set apart, and subject to this Act and to the terms of any treaty or surrender, the Governor in Council may determine whether any purpose for which lands in a reserve are used or are to be used is for the use and benefit of the band.
Marginal note:Use of reserves for schools, etc.
(2) The Minister may authorize the use of lands in a reserve for the purpose of Indian schools, the administration of Indian affairs, Indian burial grounds, Indian health projects or, with the consent of the council of the band, for any other purpose for the general welfare of the band, and may take any lands in a reserve required for those purposes, but where an individual Indian, immediately prior to the taking, was entitled to the possession of those lands, compensation for that use shall be paid to the Indian, in such amount as may be agreed between the Indian and the Minister, or, failing agreement, as may be determined in such manner as the Minister may direct.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 18
Marginal note:Children of band members
18.1 A member of a band who resides on the reserve of the band may reside there with his dependent children or any children of whom the member has custody.
- R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 8
Marginal note:Surveys and subdivisions
19 The Minister may
(a) authorize surveys of reserves and the preparation of plans and reports with respect thereto;
(b) divide the whole or any portion of a reserve into lots or other subdivisions; and
(c) determine the location and direct the construction of roads in a reserve.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 19
Possession of Lands in Reserves
Marginal note:Possession of lands in a reserve
20 (1) No Indian is lawfully in possession of land in a reserve unless, with the approval of the Minister, possession of the land has been allotted to him by the council of the band.
Marginal note:Certificate of Possession
(2) The Minister may issue to an Indian who is lawfully in possession of land in a reserve a certificate, to be called a Certificate of Possession, as evidence of his right to possession of the land described therein.
Marginal note:Location tickets issued under previous legislation
(3) For the purposes of this Act, any person who, on September 4, 1951, held a valid and subsisting Location Ticket issued under The Indian Act, 1880, or any statute relating to the same subject-matter, shall be deemed to be lawfully in possession of the land to which the location ticket relates and to hold a Certificate of Possession with respect thereto.
Marginal note:Temporary possession
(4) Where possession of land in a reserve has been allotted to an Indian by the council of the band, the Minister may, in his discretion, withhold his approval and may authorize the Indian to occupy the land temporarily and may prescribe the conditions as to use and settlement that are to be fulfilled by the Indian before the Minister approves of the allotment.
Marginal note:Certificate of Occupation
(5) Where the Minister withholds approval pursuant to subsection (4), he shall issue a Certificate of Occupation to the Indian, and the Certificate entitles the Indian, or those claiming possession by devise or descent, to occupy the land in respect of which it is issued for a period of two years from the date thereof.
Marginal note:Extension and approval
(6) The Minister may extend the term of a Certificate of Occupation for a further period not exceeding two years, and may, at the expiration of any period during which a Certificate of Occupation is in force
(a) approve the allotment by the council of the band and issue a Certificate of Possession if in his opinion the conditions as to use and settlement have been fulfilled; or
(b) refuse approval of the allotment by the council of the band and declare the land in respect of which the Certificate of Occupation was issued to be available for re-allotment by the council of the band.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 20
21 There shall be kept in the Department a register, to be known as the Reserve Land Register, in which shall be entered particulars relating to Certificates of Possession and Certificates of Occupation and other transactions respecting lands in a reserve.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 21
Marginal note:Improvements on lands
22 Where an Indian who is in possession of lands at the time they are included in a reserve made permanent improvements thereon before that time, he shall be deemed to be in lawful possession of those lands at the time they are included.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 22
Marginal note:Compensation for improvements
23 An Indian who is lawfully removed from lands in a reserve on which he has made permanent improvements may, if the Minister so directs, be paid compensation in respect thereof in an amount to be determined by the Minister, either from the person who goes into possession or from the funds of the band, at the discretion of the Minister.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 23
Marginal note:Transfer of possession
24 An Indian who is lawfully in possession of lands in a reserve may transfer to the band or another member of the band the right to possession of the land, but no transfer or agreement for the transfer of the right to possession of lands in a reserve is effective until it is approved by the Minister.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 24
Marginal note:Indian ceasing to reside on reserve
25 (1) An Indian who ceases to be entitled to reside on a reserve may, within six months or such further period as the Minister may direct, transfer to the band or another member of the band the right to possession of any lands in the reserve of which he was lawfully in possession.
Marginal note:When right of possession reverts
(2) Where an Indian does not dispose of his right of possession in accordance with subsection (1), the right to possession of the land reverts to the band, subject to the payment to the Indian who was lawfully in possession of the land, from the funds of the band, of such compensation for permanent improvements as the Minister may determine.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 25
Marginal note:Correction of Certificate or Location Tickets
26 Whenever a Certificate of Possession or Occupation or a Location Ticket issued under The Indian Act, 1880, or any statute relating to the same subject-matter was, in the opinion of the Minister, issued to or in the name of the wrong person, through mistake, or contains any clerical error or misnomer or wrong description of any material fact therein, the Minister may cancel the Certificate or Location Ticket and issue a corrected Certificate in lieu thereof.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 26
Marginal note:Cancellation of Certificates or Location Tickets
27 The Minister may, with the consent of the holder thereof, cancel any Certificate of Possession or Occupation or Location Ticket referred to in section 26, and may cancel any Certificate of Possession or Occupation or Location Ticket that in his opinion was issued through fraud or in error.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 27
Marginal note:Grants, etc., of reserve lands void
28 (1) Subject to subsection (2), any deed, lease, contract, instrument, document or agreement of any kind, whether written or oral, by which a band or a member of a band purports to permit a person other than a member of that band to occupy or use a reserve or to reside or otherwise exercise any rights on a reserve is void.
Marginal note:Minister may issue permits
(2) The Minister may by permit in writing authorize any person for a period not exceeding one year, or with the consent of the council of the band for any longer period, to occupy or use a reserve or to reside or otherwise exercise rights on a reserve.
- R.S., c. I-6, s. 28
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