Supporting Gitanmaax On Reserve Land Management
Our full time Lands Officer, Eilleen Joseph, is based at the Gitksan Government Commission. The Lands officer works closely with Lands Advisory Committees established in some of the communities. Decisions with respect to disposition of land are made at the Band Council level, after which the matter is referred to AANDC for final approval.
AANDC provides funding under the Regional Lands Administration Program (RLAP). Operating under RLAP, the Lands Officer at the Gitksan Government Commission works for the Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell, Gitwangak and Gitanyow Bands. Kispiox Band has a their own Lands Officer to manage their lands.
Major Land Projects
Currently the Lands Officer, the Manager of Technical Services (GGC), INAC and Band personnel are engaged in a number of Additions to Reserve projects in 2 communities (Gitanmaax and Gitwangak). These Addition to Reserve projects encompass up to 45 parcels of land.
Other projects include Section 35 expropriations and development of designated lands.
Gitksan Government Commission, www.gitksangc.com (visited April 10, 2013
Authority & Responsibility
RLAP provides for co-management of reserve lands, with the local Lands Officer sharing responsibilities with INAC staff. There are no delegated authorities to the Lands Officer and Bands for land management responsibilities, rather, AANDC (or the Minister) maintains full accountability.
The Lands Officer will :
- provide assistance to the Band Councils, staff, members and AANDC for preparation of documents, execution and processing of documents relating to land transactions. Land related transactions may include simple land transfers or more complex processes and requirements relating to estates, leases, designations and expropriations.
- research the history of land holdings and land transactions to provide Band Councils with information to make decisions withing the confines of their authority under RLAP.
- provide assistance in preparation of documents relating to lands surveys, allotments of land and issuance of certificates of possession.
- ensure maintenance of files (paper records) and conduct on-line research for lands registered within the Indian Land Registry System.
- complete necessary tasks, activities, documentation and consultation to advance Additions to Reserves projects.
- develop internal Band Land Management Policies within the Band’s limited authorities.
- develop transparent, fair, defendable processes for addressing unregistered land interests.
- provide information and assistance for resolution of outstanding estates or new estates which have registered land interests.
- provide information on the status of lands prior to development.
- provide assistance for the completion of environmental studies and environmental remediation for Addition to Reserve projects.