TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: Local Government
PART II: Band Elections
PART III: Meetings and Referenda
PART IV: Financial Administration of Bands
PART IX: Cessions by Bands
PART X: Land Registry System
PART XI: Expropriation by Bands
PART XII: Cree-Naskapi Commission
PART XIII: Successions
PART XIV: Tax Exemptions
PART XV: Seizure Exemptions
PART XVI: Policing
PART XVII: Offences
PART XVIII: Administration of Justice
PART XIX: General
PART XX: Amendments to Other Acts
This plain language summary of the Cree-Naskapi (Of Quebec) Act is not an official document. It has no Parliamentary sanction and therefore has no legal status. It is issued by the Cree-Naskapi Commission as a reference tool and explanatory aid. For purposes of interpretation and application of the law, please consult the Cree-Naskapi (Of Quebec) Act itself.
The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act establishes Cree and Naskapi local self-government, for Category 1A lands. The Act results from negotiations carried out to implement:
To understand the Act, you need to know something about the land system set out in these agreements. Under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, there are three categories of land:
The Northeastern Quebec Agreement sets out a similar system for the Naskapis. Category I-N lands are like Category I lands, Category IA-N lands are like Category IA lands and Category II-N lands are like Category II lands.
The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act is made up of 216 sections. The first 11 sections are an introduction. The remaining 205 sections are grouped into "parts." The Table of Contents of this volume (see previous page) shows the sections in each part and tells you what each part is about.
Preamble This section introduces the Act. It explains that the Act is to provide orderly and efficient local government for the Crees and the Naskapis on Category 1A and 1A-N lands and protect certain individual and collective rights. It also states that the Act should not prevent the Crees and the Naskapis from benefiting from future laws on Indian government which are not incompatible with the Agreements.
Short title (s. 1)
The short title of the Act is the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act.
Definitions (s. 2)
This section defines terms and names. Among the definitions are:
Conflicts with other federal laws (s. 3)
If there is a conflict between this Act and another federal law, this Act is the law that applies. There is one exception to this: the James Bay and Northern Quebec Native Claims Settlement Act. These are federal and Quebec laws which put the Agreements into place. They take precedence over this Act.
Conflicts with provincial laws (s. 4)
If there is a conflict between this Act and a provincial law, this Act applies. Regulations or by-laws passed under this Act also take precedence over Quebec laws.
The Indian Act (s. 5)
The Indian Act does not apply to the Cree Bands or to the Naskapi Band. Also, it does not apply on Category IA or IA-N lands, except to determine which people count as Indians.
Territorial limits of by-laws (s. 6)
A band's by-laws apply only within certain territorial limits. (Usually, this means that they apply only on IA or IA-N lands).
Licences and permits (s. 7)
Bands may make by-laws which require people to have licences or permits. Bands can issue the licences or permits and collect fees for them.
Prohibiting activity (s. 8)
A band can prohibit an activity by passing a by-law.
Statutory Instruments Act (s. 9)
The Statutory Instruments Act does not apply to the by-laws or resolutions a band makes. (This means that the rules that normally apply to a piece of legislation do not necessarily apply to a Cree or Naskapi resolutions and by-laws do not have to be published in the Canada Gazette.)
Regulations (s. 10)
The federal cabinet can make regulations concerning this Act.
Leasing and property rights (s. 11)
The federal cabinet can make regulations to apply Quebec laws to leases and other rights granted by bands to non-Natives. These regulations apply only to IA or IA-N lands and only if the lease or rights go beyond five years. For this section, non-Natives are people who are not Cree or Naskapi beneficiaries or Inuit of Fort George. Also, these regulations do not apply to certain Native corporations or bodies.
Part I outlines Cree and Naskapi local government for Category 1A and 1A-N lands. It also deals with band membership. Generally, Cree and Naskapi band members must be beneficiaries under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement or the Northeastern Quebec Agreement.
Bands are corporations (s. 12 and s. 14)
The eight Cree bands and the Naskapi band are corporations. They may be called by their English, French or Cree or Naskapi names.
No longer Indian Act bands (s. 13 and s. 15)
The bands are no longer Indian Act bands.
Changing a band's name (s. 16)
A band may change its name. It must pass a by-law and have the by-law approved by the federal cabinet and by band electors at a special band meeting or referendum at which five percent of the electors voted.
Band membership (s. 17 and s. 20)
To be a band member, you must be a Cree or Naskapi beneficiary. A beneficiary must be enrolled (or must be entitled to be enrolled) on a community list. Such lists are made up in accordance with the two Agreements.
Indians who are not Cree or Naskapi beneficiaries (s.5, s.18 and s.20.1)
Cree or Naskapi Indians who are not beneficiaries may be band members for certain purposes. Such members can vote in band elections. They can be elected as councillors but not as chief.
The Inuit of Fort George (s. 19)
Inuit of Fort George are members of the Chisasibi Band for certain purposes. Also, they can vote in band elections. However, an Inuit of Fort George cannot be elected chief of the Band.
The role of band governments (s. 21)
A band government has a number of key roles:
Band legal and business rights (s. 22)
Legally, a band has the rights of a person and can act like a person. a Band cannot engage in commercial activities unless they are for public services; however, a band can own shares in a business corporation.
Band corporations and federal laws (s. 23)
Certain federal laws relating to corporations do not apply to band corporations.
A band's head office (s. 24)
A band must decide where to locate its head office. The office must be on its IA or IA-N land.
Band council (s. 25)
A band council is made up of council members. The council members hold office according to the rules set out in Part II of this Act.
Band acts through council (s. 26)
A band carries out its duties and exercises its powers through its council. This means that whenever this Act speaks of the "Band" doing something, it means the "band council" doing something.
Resolutions and by-laws (s. 27)
In most cases, a council acts by passing resolutions. The exceptions to this occur where the Act provides a by-law. For certain by-laws, it must also obtain approval of electors at a special band meeting or in a referendum. In such cases, a certain minimum of band electors must vote.
The chief (s. 28)
The chief is a band's chief executive officer is the principal representative of the band.
Deputy chief (s. 29)
One councillor acts as deputy chief. He or she has certain duties and powers, and takes over for the chief when necessary. The band's election by-law determines how the band's deputy chief is elected or appointed.
Council meetings (s. 30)
Bands can make by-laws or adopt resolutions only at council meetings.
Use of Cree or Naskapi language (s. 31)
Bands may conduct council meetings in their own (Cree or Naskapi) language.
Language of by-laws and resolutions (s. 32)
Bands must adopt by-laws and resolutions in either French or English. At the same time, they can, if they wish, adopt them in Cree or Naskapi. If two (or more) languages are used, both versions are equal. If there is a conflict between the two versions, it has to be settled according to Canada's Official Languages Act.
Quorums, vacancies and elections (s. 33)
A quorum for a meeting of the council is a majority based on the number of positions on council. (There are, however, exceptions to this.) If a quorum does not exist because councillors have died, left or resigned, the council can continue to act, but only as a caretaker council until enough vacancies are filled to make up a quorum. Part II of the Act expalins how vacancies are filled.
A band council remains in office until the date fixed for the next general election.
Chairing meetings (s. 34)
The chief is the chairman of council meetings. If he or she is absent, the deputy chief takes over. If both are absent, council appoints another councillor as chairman.
Voting (s. 35)
A council's decision is approved when the majority of councillors present vote "yes." (There are exceptions to this.) If a councillor does not indicate "yes" or "no," and does not abstain, his or her vote is considered to be "yes." If there is a tie, the chairman has a vote. (Again, there are exceptions to this.)
Inuit of Fort George (s. 36)
The Inuit of Fort George may have an observer on the Chisasibi Band Council if no Inuk has been elected to the Council. The federal cabinet can determine how this observer is chosen. The observer may take part in the meetings but may not vote.
Public meetings (s. 37)
Council must meet at least once every four months. The meetings are public and the chairman can expel anyone present whom he or she thinks is not acting properly.
Conflict of interest (s. 38)
If a council member has a financial interest in an issue council is dealing with, he or she must state this fact. In such a situation, the council member may not discuss or vote on the issue. If there is a disagreement about whether a member has an interest in an issue, council decides the matter with a vote.
By-laws concerning council meetings (s. 39)
A band can make by-laws which deal with how it conducts its meetings.
A band may set up a committee and decide who sits on it. It does this by passing a by-law. A committee can include people who are not council members. A committee can only advise the council or carry out administrative duties. It is responsible to the council.
Band employees (s.41)
A band must appoint a secretary and a treasurer and decide their salary. It does this by passing a resolution or by-law. The Act states, in the next two sections, what the secretary and treasurer do, but the band can assign them other duties. The band may also hire other people (or companies) to carry out necessary tasks. (One person can be hired to do more than one job. For example, one person could be both secretary and treasurer.)
The secretary (s.42)
The secretary keeps all the books, records and documents. He or she must prepare minutes of all meetings. The secretary has the power to issue certified copies of band documents. The chief and other people designated by by-law can also issue certified documents. The secretary does not have to be a band member.
The treasurer (s. 43)
The treasurer is the chief financial officer and takes care of the band's financial administration. He or she is responsible for receiving and depositing all of the Band's money snd for all its financial administration.
Returning band property (s. 44)
If you are a band council member, officer or employee and you leave your position, you must return all property (money, keys, records, etc.) to the band. If you do not, you are guilty of an offence.
The power to make by-laws, including taxation by-laws (s. 45)
A band makes local by-laws for the band's IA or IA-N lands, for the people who live on those lands, and for the general welfare of band members.
Specific by-law powers cover: administering and managing band affairs; regulating buildings for public health and safety; health and hygiene; public order and safety; protecting the environment and natural resources; preventing pollution; controlling and prohibiting nuisances; local taxation (which cannot include income tax); local services (such as water, sewers, fire protection, cultural activities, etc.) and user charges for such services; roads, traffic and transportation; businesses and trades; parks and recreation.
By-laws concerning taxes are limited in certain ways. If a band passes a taxation by-law, the by-law must be approved by the electors at a special meeting or referendum where at least ten percent of the electors voted. Also, the federal cabinet can regulate a band's taxation by-law powers.
A band user charges by by-law. It cannot give someone else the power to do so. Also, it cannot charge more than the cost of the service it provides.
A band may accept something other than money as payment for a tax or a user charge.
Land and resource use (s. 46)
A band may make by-laws for the use and planning of land and resources. If such a by-law is approved by the electors at a special band meeting or referendum where at least 25% of the electors voted, other by-laws or resolutions that are inconsistent with this plan cannot apply in the areas where this inconsistency exists.
Zoning (s. 47)
A band can zone land. However, such zoning by-laws must be approved by the electors at a special band meeting or referendum. At least 15 per cent of the electors must vote on the issue.
Hunting, fishing and trapping (s. 48)
A band may make by-laws concerning hunting, fishing, trapping and the protection of wildlife. These by-laws cover the right to harvest granted in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the Act respecting hunting and fishing rights in the James Bay and New Quebec territories. They may also cover residence requirements for non-Cree or non-Naskapi beneficiaries who want to hunt or fish for sport and the right of people of Cree and Naskapi ancestry to harvest.
Proposed hunting, fishing and trapping by-laws - with some exceptions - must be submitted to the Co-ordinating Committee. (This Co-ordinating Committee is referred to in section 24 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.) The Committee may make representations to the band about the by-laws; however, the band is not bound by them.
By-laws approved by electors (s. 49)
A council may insert into a by-law or resolution a clause which states that this by-law or resolution has to be approved by the band electors before it comes into force. (This applies only to by-laws or resolutions for which the Act does not require approval of the electors.
Signatures on by-laws, resolutions and minutes (s. 50)
The original copy of a by-law must be signed by the chairman and the band secretary. The minutes of a council meeting must be adopted by the council and then signed by the chairman and the band secretary. (In both cases, the council can pass a by-law which designates someone other than the secretary who can sign.)
When a by-law or resolution requires approval of the electors, the secretary must sign a statement showing the date approval was given. For a resolution, the statement must be recorded in the minutes of the next council meeting.
However, if these rules are not followed, the by-law or resolution is still valid.
When a resolution takes effect (s. 51)
When a resolution is passed, it comes into effect either:
If electors must approve the resolution, it comes into effect either:
Posting by-laws (s.52)
The secretary must post a copy of a new by-law at a designated place on IA or IA-N land within a week of its being passed or approved by the electors. The by-law comes into effect when it is posted or on a later day specified in the by-law.
Registering by-laws and recording resolutions (s. 53)
The band secretary must keep a register of by-laws. All the original copies of by-laws must be kept in the register, including those no longer in force. Also, the secretary must record all resolutions in the minutes of the meetings at which they were adopted. When a by-law comes into force, the band must send a copy of it to the Minister within 30 days. If these rules are not followed, the by-law is still valid.
Copies of by-laws and resolutions (s. 54)
Anyone may obtain a copy of a band's by-law or resolution for a reasonable fee fixed by the band.
Challenges to by-laws or resolutions (s.55, s.56 and s.57)
A person may ask the Quebec Provincial or Superior Court to have a by-law or a resolution declared invalid. The basis for the request must be that the by-law or resolution is illegal or that it was adopted in an improper way. The Federal Court cannot hear such applications.
You must make the request within 90 days if it is a question of improper procedure, or within six months if it is a question of the by-law or resolution being illegal.
If the by-law or resolution is declared invalid, the band is held responsible for anything done under it.
Indian Act Cree band councils and by-laws (s. 58, s. 59, s. 61 and s. 62)
As a transitional measure, an Indian Act Cree council which is in office when this Act comes into force continues until its normal term expires. This can be for up to two years. During that time, the council has the powers and duties in this Act, with modifications if necessary.
Continuation of Indian Act by-laws (s. 60) As a transitional measure, Indian Act Cree band by-laws in force when this Act comes into effect continue for one year, unless the band repeals them.
Part II deals with the election of council members. It describes how and when elections can be held, who can vote, who can be elected, the duties of returning officers, and procedures for calling and contesting elections.
Who can vote (s. 63)
Every elector in a band, except for returning officers, can vote.
Election by-laws (s. 64)
A band may make by-laws concerning council elections and terms of office. These by-laws are subject to certain rules.
Minimum content of by-law (s. 65)
Election by-laws must mention the following:
Coming into force, application and Minister's approval (s. 66)
Election by-laws must be approved by the electors of a band at a special band meeting or referendum (where at least 20 per cent of them vote) and must be approved by the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs.
The Minister must approve an election by-law if it is within the band's powers and includes the matters listed in section 65. If the Minister disallows an election by-law, he or she must give reasons. If the Minister does not approve or disallow the by-law within 30 days of receiving it, it is considered that he or she has approved it.
Rules about elections (s. 67)
The federal cabinet may make regulations concerning the matters in section 65. However, these regulations do not apply if Band election by-laws are already in force. The cabinet can also make regulations prohibiting acts that prevent a free and fair election.
Who can be a council member (s. 68)
Any band elector can be elected a council member, except the following: returning officers, their deputies and their assistants; the band secretary and band treasurer; judges; people in jail; people who have broken certain rules (see section 67); and Naskapi beneficiaries living on the Matimekosh Reserve.
When an office becomes vacant (s. 69)
Apart from general elections (see section 74)
a council member's office becomes vacant only if:
Absence of council member (s. 70)
If a council member misses three or more meetings in a row, without the band's permission and not because of illness, that member can lose his or her position on council. For this to happen, 15 electors must request a special meeting. At this meeting, there must be a vote to decide the issue. At least 20 per cent of the electors must vote on this issue.
Returning officers (s. 71)
Each band must appoint a returning officer. The returning offcer cannot be a council member. The returning officer then appoints a deputy and assistant returning officers. If the returning officer cannot perform the job for some reason, the deputy takes over. If that is not possible, the band secretary may act as returning officer.
Eligibility (s. 72)
You cannot be appointed returning officer or deputy or assistant if:
Vacancy of office (s. 73)
A returning officer, a deputy or an assistant is removed from office if he or she breaks a rule mentioned in section 67, is sent to jail for a serious offence or is declared mentally unfit.
General election (s. 74)
A band may hold a general election at any time. On the day an election is held, all the council members' terms of office expire.
Electors may request general election (s. 75)
Ten electors may request, through the band secretary, a special meeting to decide if a general election shall be held. They can do this only if a year has passed since a general election was last held or since the same request was last made. The special meeting must take place within ten days of the request. A general election is called if 50 per cent of band electors vote on the question, and the majority of those voting (which must be at least one-third of all the band electors) vote in favour of it.
Individual elections (s. 76 and s. 77)
When a council member's term of office is up, the band must hold an election to fill the position. If a council member's position becomes vacant and there is more than six months left in the term of the vacant position, the band must hold an election.
If there is less than six month's time left, the band may hold an election. If it does not hold an election and there is no quorum because of the vacancy, the band must call a meeting of electors. It must do so within ten days. At this meeting, the electors appoint councillors to make up the quorum.
The returning officer must hold an election or a special band meeting if the band fails to do so within ten days.
Contesting election results (s. 78)
An election candidate or 15 electors may contest an election result by submitting a written notice and a deposit of $200 to the band's returning officer. This must be done within five days of the election.
A councillor's election result can be contested if there is reason to believe that:
The returning officer must send the details of the case and a deposit of $200 to a Court of Quebec or Superior Court judge within two weeks. The deposit will be returned to the person contesting the result, if the judge decides the contesting was done in good faith. (This applies even if the election is declared valid.) If the judge decides it was not done in good faith, the money is used for court costs.
If, after investigating, the judge decides the case is well-founded, the election is declared invalid. The same election of this council member cannot be contested a second time. While the investigation is going on, the council member may remain in office.
Part III describes the rules and procedures for ordinary band meetings, special band meetings and referenda.
Who may attend band meetings (s. 79)
Electors have the right to attend band meetings. Other people may attend with the band's permission.
Cree and Naskapi language (s. 80)
Cree bands may conduct ordinary band meetings, special band meetings and referenda in Cree. The Naskapi Band may do likewise in Naskapi.
Each elector may vote (s. 81)
Each band elector may vote at ordinary or special band meetings or in referenda.
Ordinary band meetings (s. 82)
A band must hold at least one ordinary band meeting per year. A band may make by-laws for conducting ordinary band meetings.
Approval of measures (s. 83)
At a special band meeting or referendum, a matter is approved if the required minimum percentage of electors voted and a majority of those voters were in favour. There are certain exceptions to this (see section 75 and section 144). If an elector does not cast either a "yes" or a "no" vote, or damages or defaces the ballot, he or she is considered as not having voted.
Notices (s. 84)
A band must post, in a public place, a notice stating the date, time and place of a special band meeting or referendum. The notice must also state the matters that are to be decided. The band must do this at least ten days before the meeting or referendum.
Presiding officer (s. 85)
The band must appoint a presiding officer for any special band meeting or referendum. The presiding officer runs the meeting or referendum and prepares a witnessed statement of the result. He or she may do whatever is necessary to ensure a proper meeting, including throwing out disorderly people and engaging assistants to help with his or her duties.
By-laws about special meetings and referenda (s. 86)
A band may make by-laws about special band meetings and referenda. These by-laws may include fixing higher (but not lower) voting quorums than those required by the Act. These by-laws must be approved by the electors at a special band meeting or referendum. The voting quorum for the meeting or referendum must be as specified in the Act for the matter in question. The band must send copies of these by-laws to the Minister within 30 days.
Rules about special band meetings and referenda (s. 87)
The federal cabinet may make regulations about special band meetings and referenda. Such regulations apply only if there is no band by-law made under section 86 in effect.
Non-compliance with rules and by -laws (s. 88)
Generally, if one of the by-laws mentioned in section 86 or one of the regulations mentioned in section 87 was not followed, the vote is still valid. However, if not following the by-law or regulations made a difference to the result of the vote, the vote is not valid.
Part IV describes the financial administration of bands as local governments. Bands are accountable for the funds and subsidies they receive, most of which are from federal departments.
The fiscal year of a band (s. 89)
A band's fiscal year begins on April 1 of one year and ends on March 31 of the next year. However, a band may, by passing a by-law, adopt a different fiscal year.
Budgets (s. 90)
Prior to each fiscal year, a band must adopt a yearly budget. If necessary, it can also adopt supplementary budgets. As soon as it has adopted a budget, a band must:
A band may make by-laws concerning the preparation and implementation of budgets.
A band may not spend money unless:
What if a band does not follow the previous section but has agreed to pay money to another party? In this case, the other party can force the band to pay money. However, the other party must show that it took reasonable steps to ensure that the band had followed the proper procedures.
Accounts and financial records (s. 91)
A band must keep accounts and financial records. The Minister, a council member, a band elector or a person designated by any of these people may have access to these accounts and financial records. Anyone obstructing such a person or failing to help them is guilty of an offence.
Annual financial statement (s. 92)
A band must prepare a financial statement within two months after the end of the fiscal year. The statement must meet certain minimum requirements which are set out in this section.
The appointment of an auditor (s. 93)
For each fiscal year, the electors must appoint an auditor. They must do this at a special band meeting or referendum where at least 25% of the electors voted. At the same time, they must fix the auditor's fee or authorize the council to do so. If it does not, the Minister can do it.
The duties of an auditor (s. 94)
The auditor must prepare a report on the band's financial statement. The band must explain the report to its members and send a copy to the Minister.
The auditor's access to records (s. 95)
The auditor has the right to inspect the band's records and accounts. A person who interferes with this process is guilty of an offence.
Borrowing limitations (s. 96)
A band may not borrow money for either a short term or a long term unless it follows the rules set out in the following two sections. Money is considered to be borrowed for a short term when:
All other borrowing is considered to be for a long term.
Borrowing by-laws (s. 97)
To borrow money, a band must pass a by-law which states:
If the loan is long-term, then the by-law must be approved by the band electors at a special band meeting or referendum. At least 20 per cent of the electors must vote on the by-law.
A band may not borrow on a long-term basis until the regulations of section 98 are in force.
Regulations for long-term borrowing (s. 98)
The federal cabinet may make regulations for long-term borrowing by bands. (Note: These regulations have been adopted)
By-laws concerning contracts and tenders (s. 99)
A band may pass by-laws for calling tenders and awarding contracts. These by-laws may state that the contracts should treat Cree or Naskapi beneficiaries preferentially where the Agreements allow this preferential treatment.
The appointment of an adminis-trator (s. 100)
If, under certain conditions, the Minister believes that a band's financial affairs are in serious disorder, he or she may notify the band that an administrator will be appointed. The band then takes the necessary corrective measures. If the Minister still believes the financial affairs are in serious disorder, he or she can appoint an administrator to manage the financial affairs of the band. The administrator will manage the band's financial until the Minister decides that they are in order.
Part V determines who can live on and use IA and IA-N lands. With some exceptions, these rights apply to band members, beneficiaries, and their families.
Residing on IA and IA-N lands (s. 101)
A person cannot live on or enter IA or IA-N lands except as described in this part of the Act.
Rights and by-laws (s. 102)
Bands can make by-laws covering living on and entering IA and IA-N lands as outlined in this Act. With certain exceptions, these by-laws cannot unreasonably restrict or deny the rights given by this Act.
Residence rights (s. 103 and s. 104)
Band members, their consorts (the term "consorts" is explained in section 174) and first degree relatives of either can live on a band's IA or IA-N lands. In addition, certain other people may live on these lands:
Under certain conditions, (section 103(3))
the band may control the number of such people who may live on these lands.
A non-beneficiary who had the right to live on IA or IA-N lands prior to the Agreements continues to have that right until it expires.
Access rights (s. 105 and s. 106)
Cree beneficiaries, their consorts and first degree relativesof either have access to 1A lands. The Inuit of Fort George have this right on the IA land of the Chisasibi Band. Naskapi beneficiaries, their consorts and first degree relatives of eitherhave access to IA-N lands.
Other people may be permitted access to IA or IA-N lands. These include: people from a government (or other public body) doing certain kinds of work; people with mining or forestry rights on the land; A person granted rights to land or a building under Part VII of the Act; and people authorized by the band.
Members of the public can have access to certain public facilities and installations on these lands. Such facilities and installations include roads, airports, bridges, public seaplane bases, wharves, harbours, rivers and major lakes, public buildings and land used for public services.
Naskapis on the Matimekosh Reserve (s. 107)
Naskapis who lived on the Matimekosh Reserve when the Act came into force can continue to live there.
Obstruction and trespass (s. 108)
A person who interferes with someone's right to live on or be on these lands is guilty of an offence. It is also an offence to be on the land without the right to be there.
Part VI sets out the rights that bands, the Province of Quebec and others have with respect to IA and IA-N lands.
Ownership and use (s. 109)
Quebec has "the bare ownership" of IA and IA-N lands. This means that if a band decides to give a cession of its interestin Category 1A or 1A-N lands, their full ownership goes back to Quebec. However, each band has the exclusive use and benefit of its 1A or 1A-N lands. This includes the natural resources on the lands. The band may manage, enjoy and use the lands for any purpose, as if it were the owner.
Soapstone deposits (s. 110)
A band owns the soapstone and similar materials used for traditional arts and crafts on its IA or IA-N lands.
Forest resources (s. 111)
Only a band can commercially use the forests on its IA or IA-N land. It must, however, obtain cutting rights or a license from the Province of Quebec.
If a band wants to allow commercial use of its forests, it must get the approval of band electors. For this, there must be a band meeting or referendum at which at least 25 per cent of the electors vote.
If you are a band member, you may use your band's forest resources for personal or community purposes as long as this does not go against a band by-law.
Gravel (s. 112)
A band may use gravel and similar materials. It must, however, get a permit from the Minister of Energy and Resources of Quebec.
Mineral Rights (s. 113)
Quebec owns all mineral rights and subsurface rights on IA and IA-N lands.
Before mineral or subsurface rights are granted on IA or IA-N lands and before any mining is done, the band must give its consent and receive satisfactory compensation. Consent is given by the approval of band electors. There must be a band meeting or referendum at which at least 25 per cent of the electors vote.
There are exceptions to this section. These relate to holders of exploration permits or mineral rights obtained before the Agreements came into effect. See sections 114, 115 and 116.
James Bay Development Corporation (s. 114)
The James Bay Development Corporation keeps its exploration rights granted before November 11, 1975.
Holders of prior rights or titles (s. 115)
Holders of mineral rights or titles granted before November 11, 1975, in areas close to IA land can use that land for those rights. The same is true for holders of mineral rights or titles granted before January 31, 1978, in areas close to IA-N land.
How rights must be exercised (s. 116)
There are certain restrictions regarding how mineral rights or titles obtained before November 11, 1975, or January 31, 1978, must be exercised.
One of these is that compensation must be paid to the Cree or Naskapi band. The compensation must be an area of land equal to the area being used. In the case of exploration rights, the compensation must be the same amount of money as would be paid to Quebec in similar cases. For rules about payment in land, see sections 125 and 126.
Pre-existing rights (s. 117)
It may be that a person or body holds a right - an unexpired lease, permit, grant or authorization - for IA lands, and that this right was given by Quebec before November 11, 1975. That person or body continues to hold that right as if the lands were Category III lands until it expires or is renewed. The same is true for rights to IA-N lands granted before January 31, 1978.
It may be that a person formerly held rights, granted by the Minister or by an Indian Act Cree or Naskapi band, in Category IA or IA-N land (or in buildings on those lands). The band must grant to that person equivalent rights. At such time, the person's former rights expire. The person must request this within two years or the rights expire anyway.
It may be that a person lived on or owned IA or IA-N lands (or buildings on those lands) with the open consent of an Indian Act Cree or Naskapi band, without actually having the rights or interests mentioned above. The band must grant that person rights to the land or buildings in a fair and equitable way. The person must request this within two years.
Rights or interests granted under this section are for a maximum of 75 years, including renewals. Section 132 determines when elector approval is required.
Part VII states how and when Quebec may expropriate IA or IA-N lands, in other words, how and when Quebec can take these lands away from a band for its own use.
"Expropriating authority" (s. 118)
"Expropriating authority" basically means the Quebec government or other Quebec public bodies.
Expropriation (s. 119)
An expropriating authority can only expropriate IA or IA-N lands as stated in this Part. Thus, the authority to expropriate is limited. The procedure for expropriation is in the Quebec Expropriation Act. This Act prevails over the Expropriation Act if there is a conflict between the two.
Expropriation for public services or structures (s. 120)
An expropriation can take place only to establish public services or structures. Such services or structures include: roads, bridges, airports; services like water, sewerage and fire protection; utilities like electricity, gas, oil, and telephones; gas or oil pipelines; and similar things.
Expropriation of IA or IA-N lands for pipelines and transmission lines is only allowed if the lines cannot be placed on Category III or Category II and II-N lands at equal or lower cost. The lines must be placed as far away as possible from residential areas.
What may be expropriated (s. 121)
Basically, only servitudes (that is, the right of way on the land) can be expropriated. However, where the full use of land is necessary for the service or structure, the land may (and in certain cases must) be expropriated in full.
Compensation (s. 122)
If land is expropriated for pipelines or transmission lines, bands must be given an equal area of land.
For other structures, compensation may be in money if the expropriation is for servitudes. It may be land and/or money at the band's option, if the expropriation means giving up full ownership. In either case, the band must approve the compensation by a vote of electors in which at least 25 per cent participate. Special rules about compensation in money only, set out in sections 191 and 192 of An Act respecting the land regime in the James Bay and New Quebec territories (Quebec) apply for the Naskapi Band.
Compensation not payable (s. 123)
Bands cannot receive compensation if they or their lands benefit directly from the service or structure. Pipelines and transmission lines are an exception to this.
Determining direct benefit (s. 124)
The following services or structures are considered to directly benefit a band: services requested by the band; services essential to the community; local services normally provided by governments or public utilities. Compensation cannot be received for these.
The expropriating authority must specifically state in the expropriation notice that the expropriation directly benefits the band. Otherwise, the expropriation is considered not to be of direct benefit.
Disputes about whether an expropriation is of direct benefit are settled by the Expropriation division of the Court of Quebec. The parties can bypass this tribunal by agreeing to arbitration.
It is up to the expropriating authority to prove its case. Factors considered in such a case include the advantages and benefits of the service or structure to band members and to the band's lands.
Rules about compensation in land (s. 125)
There are rules about compensation which is wholly or partly in land.
Where replacement land comes from Category II land, that Category II land is replaced by Quebec following section 74 of the Act respecting the land regime in the James Bay and New Quebec territories.
Reclassification of expropriated land (s. 126)
If expropriated land is no longer needed, Canada and Quebec must re-classify the land as IA or IA-N land, if the band requests it at a special band meeting or referendum where at least 25% of the electors vote. Replacement land then returns to its old classification.
Amount of compensation in money (s. 127)
If the two sides cannot agree about how much compensation should be paid, the Expropriation Division of the Court of Quebec determines the amount. This does not apply if the dispute has gone to arbitration.
When work can begin (s. 128)
Work may begin on a service or structure, or on related construction, 60 days after the expropriation notice has been served. If the band has contested the right to expropriate, work may begin 60 days after the final judgement upholding the right to expropriate.
When expropriated land changes its category (s. 129)
When do lands expropriated in full ownership stop being IA or IA-N lands?
If the band is not entitled to compensation, the land changes its category on whichever day comes last:
If the band is entitled to compensation, the land changes its category on whichever of the following days applies:
Part VIII explains how rights and interests in Category IA and IA-N land and buildings are granted and obtained, and some of the terms and conditions of those grants.
Definitions and general information (s. 130)
This section gives technical definitions of the words "lease" and "transfer."
A corporation's rights and interests in IA or IA-N lands transfers if there is a change in the voting control of the corporation.
The rights mentioned in section 132 are determined by referring to the Civil Code of Quebec and the Civil Code of Lower Canada. If there is a conflict, this Act or the terms under which the right was granted will be applied.
Provincial laws (s. 131)
Unless the lease states differently, provincial laws about leases do not apply to residential leases for buildings on IA or IA-N lands.
Grants by bands (s. 132)
A band may grant a lease (or other right of use, ownership or occupation) of its IA or IA-N lands and its buildings on those lands. Such grants cannot be for more than 75 years.
Grants for more than 10 years on non-residential land must have the approval of band electors at a special band meeting or referendum. For grants of less than 25 years, 10 per cent must vote. For grants of more than 25 years, 25 per cent must vote.
Renewals are at the option of the person receiving the grant. To determine the kind of electoral approval (if any) required for a renewal, the renewal is included in the original terms of the grant. This means that the renewal period is added to the original term when deciding whether the grant is more or less than 10 years, 25 years or 75 years.
A band may also grant a hypothec (mortgage) or other charges to its buildings on Category 1A or 1A-N lands subject to the elector approval required under section 193(3)
Grants in writing (s. 133)
Grants have to be put in writing to have any effect.
Terms and conditions of the contract (s. 134)
Grants can contain any terms and conditions that do not conflict with this Act.
Unless the contract specifically states otherwise, it is understood that:
Fishery and outfitting operations (s. 135)
A grant for IA or IA-N land does not include the right to use the land for a commercial fishery or outfitting operation. The band council must give explicit permission for such uses. This permission requires the approval of the electors at a band meeting or referendum. If the grant is for 25 years, at least 10% of the electors must vote. If the grant is for more than 25 years, at least 25% of the electors must vote.
Superficie (s. 136)
Superficie is a person's right to construct and own buildings on the land. This right may end for a number of reasons. Before it ends, the person must remove any buildings and restore the land to its original state. At least 90 days before demolishing a building, he or she must inform the band of such plans. The band has the right to purchase the building if it gives notice within 45 days.
The band becomes the owner of buildings left on the land after the right of superficie ends. The person who held the right may have to compensate the band for demolishing a building and restoring the land to its original state.
Transfers of rights (s. 137)
Residential or non-residential rights to land cannot be transferred to another person without the approval of the band. If the control of a corporation changes hands, the rights to the land held by that corporation go back to the band, unless the band approves transfer of the rights to the new controllers of the corporation.
Consultation requirements (s. 138)
Bands must consult with government departments and the Minister before allowing regional or provincial projects to start on their IA or IA-N lands by people who are not Cree or Naskapi beneficiaries or parties to the Agreements.
Land for community services (s. 139)
Bands must set aside land for community services (such as roads, schools, hospitals and police) provided by Quebec. This is done by a lease or similar contract for a fee of one dollar.
No prescription (s. 140)
No rights to IA or IA-N lands may be obtained merely by occupying them over a period of time. Under Quebec law, land rights can only be obtained by occupying the land for a period of time, even if there is no deed. This section states that this cannot happen on 1A or 1A-N lands.
Part IV explains how and when bands may give up their rights to IA and IA-N lands.
Definitions (s. 141)
"Cession" refers to a band's giving up all of its rights to any of its IA or IA-N lands. If a band grants rights to its lands as described elsewhere in this Act, that is not a cession.
"Registered" refers to the land registry system described in Part X of this Act.
Cessions by bands (s. 142)
A band may make cessions only to Quebec. Cessions may be conditional or unconditional.
Requirements for valid cession (s. 143)
For a cession to be valid:
Approval of cession (s. 144)
The electors of the band must approve the cession in a referendum. At least 65 per cent of the electors must vote in favour of it.
Notice of the referendum must be posted in a public place and delivered to everyone who holds rights to the land. This must be done at least 30 days before the referendum. The notice must:
Rights, effects of cession, and compensation (s. 145)
If persons other than the band hold rights to category 1A or 1A-N land or buildings, that does not prevent the cession. Unless the band and Quebec agree otherwise, all rights to the land and buildings (except those of Quebec) cease when the cession takes effect. However, holders of rights must be compensated by the band. If the band and the holders of the rights cannot agree on the amount of compensation, the expropriation regulations of the federal government set out in Part XI will determine the compensation.
Documents the band must submit (s. 146)
Within 20 days following elector approval of a cession, a band must submit a statement confirming the result of the referendum. It must also submit a document called an Instrument of Cession which describes the cession that was approved.
Transfer of land to Quebec (s. 147)
When the documents have been submitted, the federal cabinet must adopt an order transferring the administration, management and control of the land to Quebec.
Effect of cession (s. 148)
On the date the cession takes effect, the ceded land ceases to be Category IA or IA-N land.
Land registry system (s. 149)
Within 60 days of the effective date of the cession, the band must deposit the Instrument of Cession in the land registry office described in Part X. Part X describes a land registry system that bands are to use to register rights to 1A and 1A-N lands and buildings on those lands.
Part X describes a land registry system that bands are to use to register rights to IA and IA-N lands and buildings on those lands.
Enforceability (s. 150) Rights granted by a band to IA or IA-N lands or to buildings on those lands cannot be enforced (with certain exceptions) unless they have been registered.
Rules about the land registry system (s. 151) The federal cabinet can make regulations for a land registry system. This system, under the Minister's supervision, is for the registration of rights to IA and IA-N lands and buildings on those lands. These rules include the procedure for registering rights and interests.
Duties of bands (s. 152) A band must deposit in the land registry office copies of the grants, authorizations and plans it makes as described in sections 46, 47, 111, 113, 132 and 137. It must include evidence of the band's approval where required. If the band does not do this, the validity of the grants, authorizations and plans is not affected. The band's deposit of the document is not the same thing as registering it.
The power to expropriate (s. 153) Bands can expropriate rights people have to the band's IA or IA-N lands or to any buildings on those lands, with certain exceptions, for community purposes or community works. They have to follow the rules mentioned in section 156.
Obtaining rights by mutual agreement (s. 154) Instead of expropriating, a band can also obtain rights to land or buildings by mutual agreement.
Compensation (s. 155) The band must pay compensation to people who hold rights that are expropriated. The band has to follow the regulations mentioned in section 156.
Rules (s. 156) The federal cabinet can make regulations about certain aspects of band expropriations, including procedures and compensation.
Definitions (s. 157) The word "Commission" means the Cree-Naskapi Commission. The word "member" means a member of the Commission.
The Cree-Naskapi Commission (s. 158) The Cree-Naskapi Commission is established. It has a maximum of three members. The federal cabinet appoints the members on the advice of the Cree Regional Authority and the Naskapi Band. The cabinet names one of the members chairman.
Eligibility (s. 159) A council member, officer, employee or agent of a band cannot be a member of the Commission.
Tenure and remuneration (s. 160) Members are normally appointed for a term of two years. If there is a good reason, a member can be removed from office. If a member leaves the Commission, a new member is found. Members may be re-appointed for another term. If a member is ill, a temporary replacement may be found. Members are paid an amount that is decided by the federal cabinet.
Head office (s. 161) The head office of the Commission is in Ottawa (The Cree-Naskapi Commission, Suite 305, 222 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5V9. Telephone: (613) 234-4288). Another site may be chosen by the federal cabinet on the advice of the Cree Regional Authority and the Naskapi Band.
Staff (s. 162) The Commission may hire staff to help with its work. They are paid an amount decided by the Commission and approved by the Treasury Board. Neither Commission members nor staff are part of the public service of Canada. They are all paid out of money set aside by Parliament.
Quorum (s. 163) A quorum of the Commission is reached when all the members are present. Its decisions are made by a majority vote. The Commission can make rules for conducting its business.
Delegation of powers (s. 164) If all the members agree, the Commission may delegate its powers or duties, with certain exceptions, to one or more of its members.
Duties (s. 165) The Commission must prepare a report every two years on how the Act is being put into effect. It also investigates complaints. The Commission cannot investigate complaints that are before the Courts.
The Commission may refuse to investigate a complaint if it believes:
If the Commission does refuse to investigate, it must explain why, in writing, to the person who made the complaint.
Investigations (s. 166) When it investigates a complaint, the Commission must notify the Minister and all people and bands involved. Investigations are done in private, unless the Commission decides that no one would be harmed if it were to investigate in public. The person who made the complaint can ask that his or her identity not be made known.
Requesting evidence (s. 167) The Commission can ask any person to come before it, give evidence or produce documents or other things. It cannot, however, force anybody to do this.
Negative findings (s. 168) Before making any negative judgements about a person, the Commission must tell the person of his or her misconduct and give the person an opportunity to speak in his or her own defence.
Protection (s. 169) No one can take legal action against a Commission member, a Commission employee or a witness in a Commission investigation, unless that person acted in bad faith.
Report of investigation (s. 170) When an investigation ends, the Commission makes a report of its judgements and recommendations. The report must be sent to the person who made the complaint, the band involved and to anyone else against whom there is a negative judgement, and the Minister.
Biennial report to Parliament (s. 171) The Commission must report to the Minister on the implementation of this Act every two years. The report must be in English, French, Cree and Naskapi. The Minister must submit the report to Parliament and send copies to the Cree Regional Authority, the Naskapi Development Corporation, and all of the band councils.
Functioning of the Commission (s. 172) Five years after this Act comes into force, the federal cabinet will appoint a person to inquire into the work of the Commission. That person will submit a report to the Minister, who will submit it to Parliament.
Part XIII explains succession, that is, what happens to a person's property after the person dies, with or without leaving a will.
Application (s. 173)
This Part applies to the successions of Crees living on IA lands and Naskapis living on IA-N lands.
Definitions (s. 174)
The word "child" can also mean an adopted child. "Consort" refers to either spouse in a married couple or either partner in a couple who live together. "Family council" means the family council of a Cree or Naskapi beneficiary who has died (see section 182). "Traditional property" does not include money or property used for commercial fishing. It does include other movable things used for hunting and fishing, as well as the animals and fish that are caught.
Lawful heirs (s. 175)
If the dead person did not leave a will, his or her surviving consort and surviving children are lawful heirs to his or her property.
Valid forms of wills (s. 176)
A will is valid if:
Civil Code not applicable (s. 177)
Documents relating to certain successions do not have to conform to the Civil Code. However, they must be in the form stated in this Act.
Minors and legal guardians (s. 178)
If a beneficiary is a minor living on IA or IA-N land, his or her parents become the legal guardians of the property.
Vacant succession (s. 179)
If a beneficiary dies without leaving an heir, his or her property becomes the property of the band. If the band does not want it, it is dealt with as a vacant succession.
Intestacy (s. 180)
If a beneficiary dies without leaving a will, the lawful heirs may appoint the band to deal with the succession (except for traditional property). The band may charge a fee for this.
Powers of family council (s. 181)
If a beneficiary dies without leaving a will leaving traditional property, the family council meets within one year and decides what to do with that property.
Composition of family council (s. 182)
The family council consists of the surviving consort, surviving adult children, the legal guardians of minor children, and any surviving parent. If the person dies without leaving any close family, the family council consists of the three closest adult relatives.
Family council deadlocked (s. 183)
If the family council cannot reach a decision about the dead person's traditional property, it can ask the band council to appoint other people to act as the family council.
Band council acting as family council (s. 184)
The band council may act as the family council if:
Effect of disposition (s. 185)
Once the family council decides who receives the dead person's traditional property, that person owns the property. He or she is responsible for any debts owing on the property.
Renouncing traditional property (s. 186)
If the person chosen by the family council doesn't want the traditional property, and no one else is chosen within six months, then the Quebec laws for such cases apply.
Part XIV states that Indians do not have to pay taxes on property on IA or IA-N lands.
Definitions (s. 187)
In this section, the word "Indian" means a Cree or Naskapi beneficiary who is an Indian as defined in the Indian Act. In section 188, "Indian" means anyone who is an Indian as defined in the Indian Act.
Personal property means money and movable property. If there is personal property that is
then the property is considered to be on IA or IA-N land. (Because of section 188, such property is exempt from taxes.)
Property exempt from taxation (s. 188)
The property and interests of Indians and Indian bands in and on IA or IA-N lands are free from taxation, including death taxes.
Part XV states when property and rights cannot be seized.
Definition (s. 189)
In this Part, the word "Indian" means an Indian as defined in the Indian Act.
Property that cannot be seized (s. 190)
A beneficiary's or a band's property, rights and interests on IA or IA-N lands cannot be seized except by another beneficiary or by an Indian living on these lands. (There are other exceptions to this.)
The rights or interests in IA or IA-N lands of non-Cree and non-Naskapi beneficiaries are also exempt unless the band has authorized otherwise.
If someone sells by a conditional sales contract moveable property to an Indian living on IA or IA-N land or a band, the seller may exercise his or her rights of seizure if that was a condition of the sale. This applies even if the property sold is on IA or IA-N land.
Property on Category IA or IA-N land (s. 191)
For section 190, personal property that a band acquired from its predecessor Indian Act band with money from Parliament or from Quebec under a treaty or agreement with Canada is considered to be on IA or IA-N land.
Property of bands (s. 192)
Property owned by the Cree Regional Authority or the Naskapi Development Corporation that was bought with money from Quebec or Canada for running a band's program is property of the band for the purposes of section 190, and is therefore exempt from seizure.
Waivers (s. 193)
A Cree or Naskapi beneficiary may waive the exemptions from seizure. However, a waiver regarding an interest in land has to be approved by the bandand by the electors. A band can waive the exemptions for seizure provided that the waiver is approved by the electors of the band at a special band meeting or referendum where at least 25% of the electors voted.
Part XVI provides for the policing of IA and IA-N lands and establishes the jurisdictions of police forces.
Policing jurisdiction (s. 194 and s. 195)
Cree and Naskapi village corporations establish police forces. These forces have policing powers on their band's IA (or IA-N) lands. They can enforce relevant laws of Canada and Quebec as well as the band's by-laws.
Policing agreements (s. 196)
A band can (subject to Quebec's approval) enter into a policing agreement with Quebec, the Cree Regional Authority, the Kativik Regional Government, a Cree and Naskapi village corporation for category 1B and 1B-N lands, or any other policing body. The jurisdiction of a police force under such an agreement is the band's IA or IA-N land.
Part XVII sets out the punishments for committing offences, disobeying regulations and breaking band by-laws.
Offences under the Act (s. 197)
If you are an offender under sections 38, 44, 91, 95, 100, or 108 of this Act, you may have to pay a fine of up to $2,000 and/or go to jail for up to six months.
Disobeying regulations (s. 198)
If you disobey a regulation set out in this Act, you may face the punishment mentioned in the regulation. The maximum punishment is a fine of $2,000 or six months in jail, or both.
Breaking a by-law (s. 199)
If you break a band by-law, you may face the punishment mentioned in the by-law. The maximum punishment is a fine of $2,000 or six months in jail, or both.
You cannot be sent to jail for non-payment of taxes.
Part XVIII sets out the offences justices of the peace can deal with.
Jurisdiction of justices of the peace (s. 200)
Justices of the peace, appointed according to the Agreements, can deal with the breaking of band by-laws. They can also deal with offences like assault and injury or cruelty to animals under the Criminal Code. Such justices of the peace can act as a summary conviction court for these offences.
Part XIX sets out general rules concerning documents and commissioners of oaths.
Signing a document if you cannot write (s. 201)
If you cannot write and have to sign a document, your mark can be your signature if someone who can write witnesses it. The witness must put his or her signature alongside your mark on the document.
Commissioner of oaths (s. 202)
The chief and the secretary of a band are commissioners of oaths for the purposes of the Act. However, they cannot charge a fee for this service.
Certified copies of documents (s. 203)
The band secretary may issue certified copies of band documents and the band treasurer may issue certified copies of account books and financial records of the band. Such copies are admissible as evidence.
Part XX describes the changes made to other federal laws as a result of the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act.
Expropriation Act (s. 204)
The Expropriation Act (Canada) is changed to state that IA or IA-N land cannot be expropriated without the consent of the federal cabinet.
Canada Assistance Plan (s. 205)
The definitions "band," "council," "Indian" and "reserve" are changed in the Canada Assistance Plan to take into account the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act.
Canada Lands Surveys Act (s. 206)
The Canada Lands Surveys Act is changed to include mention of IA and IA-N lands.
Municipal Grants Acts (s. 207 and s. 208)
The definitions of "federal property" in the Municipal Grants Act and of "taxing authority" in the Municipal Grants Act, 1980 are changed.
National Energy Board Act (s. 209)
The National Energy Board Act is changed to include a definition of "Indian reserve."
National Housing Act (s. 210, s. 211, s. 212 and s. 213)
Changes are made to parts of the National Housing Act dealing with loans to Indians or bands. In the same Act, the definitions of "council of a band," "Indian" and "reserve" are changed. Other sections now include mention of band councils, Cree and Naskapi beneficiaries, and loans to Indians.
Railway Act (s. 214)
Part of the Railway Act is changed to include IA or IA-N lands in Indian lands.
Lord's Day Act (s. 215)
The Lord's Day Act now includes IA and IA-N lands in the definition of "Indian reserve."
Privacy Act (s. 216)
The definition of "Indian band" in the Privacy Act is changed.
Veterans' Land Act (s. 217)
The definition of "Indian reserve" in the Veterans' Land Act is changed.
Coming into force (s. 218)
The Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act comes into force on a date to be fixed by proclamation.