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BC Law Reforms: First Nations Gain Direct Land Ownership Rights

Land Title Act Amendments Recognize All First Nations’ Legal Capacity for Land Ownership

The Government of British Columbia’s recent amendments to the Land Title Act and the Property Law Act, through the Land Title and Property Law Amendment Act, 2024, provide ways for all First Nations in BC to purchase and register land in BC.

Prior to the amendments, the law did not recognize the legal capacity of the majority of First Nations in BC to hold land in their own names. To work around that restriction, many First Nations have utilized corporations or societies to hold land on their behalf.

As of May 21, 2024, when the amendments came into force, all First Nations in BC can now purchase and own lands directly.

What This Means for First Nations

This is an exciting development. First Nations should be aware, however, that the Land Title Office will take deeds of sale or other documents at face value. This means that the Land Title Office will assume that documents signed on behalf of a First Nation, and in compliance with the amendments, have been completed in accordance with that First Nation’s own land laws and procedures.

If your First Nation needs assistance purchasing land, or if you have any questions about the above, please reach out to discuss.

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