Nisga’a begin private property experiment

Blog, Aboriginal Futures, Joseph Quesnel

The Nisga’a are a self-governing First Nation located in northwestern British Columbia.

In 2008, the Nisga’a embarked on a revolutionary experiment in property ownership. They passed the Landholding Transiton Act, a piece of legislation that would allow individuals to own their own land in fee simple (the form of ownership most of us are familiar with).

A new CBC documentary mentions how three Nisga’a residents now own their own land in the Nass Valley. This is a first indigenous community in Canada to have true property rights.

The legislation will allow individuals to leverage their home for a variety of purposes, including for building businesses.

The federal govermment announced last year that it was going to proceed with a First Nations Property Ownership Act that would grant the property ownership to First Nations.

Let’s hope this bill is introduced soon so that First Nations can have what the Nisga’a now have.