Indian Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5)

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2015-04-02. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Appeal
  •  (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.

  • Marginal note:Decision

    (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.

  • Marginal note:Court

    (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    • (c.1) [Repealed, 1992, c. 51, s. 54]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

  •  (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.
  •  (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.

New Bands

Marginal note:Minister may constitute new bands
  •  (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
  •  (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

 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

 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
  •  (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.
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