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Indian Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-5)

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Act current to 2022-05-02 and last amended on 2019-08-15. Previous Versions

Farms

Marginal note:Minister may operate farms

  •  (1) The Minister may operate farms on reserves and may employ such persons as he considers necessary to instruct Indians in farming and may purchase and distribute without charge pure seed to Indian farmers.

  • Marginal note:Application of profits

    (2) The Minister may apply any profits that result from the operation of farms pursuant to subsection (1) on reserves to extend farming operations on the reserves or to make loans to Indians to enable them to engage in farming or other agricultural operations or he may apply those profits in any way that he considers to be desirable to promote the progress and development of the Indians.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 71

Treaty Money

Marginal note:Treaty money payable out of C.R.F.

 Moneys that are payable to Indians or to Indian bands under a treaty between Her Majesty and a band and for the payment of which the Government of Canada is responsible may be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 72

Regulations

Marginal note:Regulations

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) for the protection and preservation of fur-bearing animals, fish and other game on reserves;

    • (b) for the destruction of noxious weeds and the prevention of the spreading or prevalence of insects, pests or diseases that may destroy or injure vegetation on Indian reserves;

    • (c) for the control of the speed, operation and parking of vehicles on roads within reserves;

    • (d) for the taxation, control and destruction of dogs and for the protection of sheep on reserves;

    • (e) for the operation, supervision and control of pool rooms, dance halls and other places of amusement on reserves;

    • (f) to prevent, mitigate and control the spread of diseases on reserves, whether or not the diseases are infectious or communicable;

    • (g) to provide medical treatment and health services for Indians;

    • (h) to provide compulsory hospitalization and treatment for infectious diseases among Indians;

    • (i) to provide for the inspection of premises on reserves and the destruction, alteration or renovation thereof;

    • (j) to prevent overcrowding of premises on reserves used as dwellings;

    • (k) to provide for sanitary conditions in private premises on reserves as well as in public places on reserves;

    • (l) for the construction and maintenance of boundary fences; and

    • (m) for empowering and authorizing the council of a band to borrow money for band projects or housing purposes and providing for the making of loans out of moneys so borrowed to members of the band for housing purposes.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) The Governor in Council may prescribe the punishment, not exceeding a fine of one hundred dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or both, that may be imposed on summary conviction for contravention of a regulation made under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Orders and regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council may make orders and regulations to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 73

Elections of Chiefs and Band Councils

Marginal note:Elected councils

  •  (1) Whenever he deems it advisable for the good government of a band, the Minister may declare by order that after a day to be named therein the council of the band, consisting of a chief and councillors, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Composition of council

    (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the Minister, the council of a band in respect of which an order has been made under subsection (1) shall consist of one chief, and one councillor for every one hundred members of the band, but the number of councillors shall not be less than two nor more than twelve and no band shall have more than one chief.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council may, for the purposes of giving effect to subsection (1), make orders or regulations to provide

    • (a) that the chief of a band shall be elected by

      • (i) a majority of the votes of the electors of the band, or

      • (ii) a majority of the votes of the elected councillors of the band from among themselves,

      but the chief so elected shall remain a councillor; and

    • (b) that the councillors of a band shall be elected by

      • (i) a majority of the votes of the electors of the band, or

      • (ii) a majority of the votes of the electors of the band in the electoral section in which the candidate resides and that he proposes to represent on the council of the band.

  • Marginal note:Electoral sections

    (4) A reserve shall for voting purposes consist of one electoral section, except that where the majority of the electors of a band who were present and voted at a referendum or a special meeting held and called for the purpose in accordance with the regulations have decided that the reserve should for voting purposes be divided into electoral sections and the Minister so recommends, the Governor in Council may make orders or regulations to provide for the division of the reserve for voting purposes into not more than six electoral sections containing as nearly as may be an equal number of Indians eligible to vote and to provide for the manner in which electoral sections so established are to be distinguished or identified.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 74

Marginal note:Eligibility

  •  (1) No person other than an elector who resides in an electoral section may be nominated for the office of councillor to represent that section on the council of the band.

  • Marginal note:Nomination

    (2) No person may be a candidate for election as chief or councillor of a band unless his nomination is moved and seconded by persons who are themselves eligible to be nominated.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 75

Marginal note:Regulations governing elections

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may make orders and regulations with respect to band elections and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations with respect to

    • (a) meetings to nominate candidates;

    • (b) the appointment and duties of electoral officers;

    • (c) the manner in which voting is to be carried out;

    • (d) election appeals; and

    • (e) the definition of residence for the purpose of determining the eligibility of voters.

  • Marginal note:Secrecy of voting

    (2) The regulations made under paragraph (1)(c) shall provide for secrecy of voting.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 76

Marginal note:Eligibility of voters for chief

  •  (1) A member of a band who has attained the age of eighteen years and is ordinarily resident on the reserve is qualified to vote for a person nominated to be chief of the band and, where the reserve for voting purposes consists of one section, to vote for persons nominated as councillors.

  • Marginal note:Councillor

    (2) A member of a band who is of the full age of eighteen years and is ordinarily resident in a section that has been established for voting purposes is qualified to vote for a person nominated to be councillor to represent that section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 77
  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 14

Marginal note:Tenure of office

  •  (1) Subject to this section, the chief and councillors of a band hold office for two years.

  • Marginal note:Vacancy

    (2) The office of chief or councillor of a band becomes vacant when

    • (a) the person who holds that office

      • (i) is convicted of an indictable offence,

      • (ii) dies or resigns his office, or

      • (iii) is or becomes ineligible to hold office by virtue of this Act; or

    • (b) the Minister declares that in his opinion the person who holds that office

      • (i) is unfit to continue in office by reason of his having been convicted of an offence,

      • (ii) has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the council without being authorized to do so, or

      • (iii) was guilty, in connection with an election, of corrupt practice, accepting a bribe, dishonesty or malfeasance.

  • Marginal note:Disqualification

    (3) The Minister may declare a person who ceases to hold office by virtue of subparagraph (2)(b)(iii) to be ineligible to be a candidate for chief or councillor of a band for a period not exceeding six years.

  • Marginal note:Special election

    (4) Where the office of chief or councillor of a band becomes vacant more than three months before the date when another election would ordinarily be held, a special election may be held in accordance with this Act to fill the vacancy.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 78

Marginal note:Governor in Council may set aside election

 The Governor in Council may set aside the election of a chief or councillor of a band on the report of the Minister that he is satisfied that

  • (a) there was corrupt practice in connection with the election;

  • (b) there was a contravention of this Act that might have affected the result of the election; or

  • (c) a person nominated to be a candidate in the election was ineligible to be a candidate.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 79

Marginal note:Regulations respecting band and council meetings

 The Governor in Council may make regulations with respect to band meetings and council meetings and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations with respect to

  • (a) presiding officers at such meetings;

  • (b) notice of such meetings;

  • (c) the duties of any representative of the Minister at such meetings; and

  • (d) the number of persons required at such meetings to constitute a quorum.

  • R.S., c. I-6, s. 80

Powers of the Council

Marginal note:By-laws

  •  (1) The council of a band may make by-laws not inconsistent with this Act or with any regulation made by the Governor in Council or the Minister, for any or all of the following purposes, namely,

    • (a) to provide for the health of residents on the reserve and to prevent the spreading of contagious and infectious diseases;

    • (b) the regulation of traffic;

    • (c) the observance of law and order;

    • (d) the prevention of disorderly conduct and nuisances;

    • (e) the protection against and prevention of trespass by cattle and other domestic animals, the establishment of pounds, the appointment of pound-keepers, the regulation of their duties and the provision for fees and charges for their services;

    • (f) the construction and maintenance of watercourses, roads, bridges, ditches, fences and other local works;

    • (g) the dividing of the reserve or a portion thereof into zones and the prohibition of the construction or maintenance of any class of buildings or the carrying on of any class of business, trade or calling in any zone;

    • (h) the regulation of the construction, repair and use of buildings, whether owned by the band or by individual members of the band;

    • (i) the survey and allotment of reserve lands among the members of the band and the establishment of a register of Certificates of Possession and Certificates of Occupation relating to allotments and the setting apart of reserve lands for common use, if authority therefor has been granted under section 60;

    • (j) the destruction and control of noxious weeds;

    • (k) the regulation of bee-keeping and poultry raising;

    • (l) the construction and regulation of the use of public wells, cisterns, reservoirs and other water supplies;

    • (m) the control or prohibition of public games, sports, races, athletic contests and other amusements;

    • (n) the regulation of the conduct and activities of hawkers, peddlers or others who enter the reserve to buy, sell or otherwise deal in wares or merchandise;

    • (o) the preservation, protection and management of fur-bearing animals, fish and other game on the reserve;

    • (p) the removal and punishment of persons trespassing on the reserve or frequenting the reserve for prohibited purposes;

    • (p.1) the residence of band members and other persons on the reserve;

    • (p.2) to provide for the rights of spouses or common-law partners and children who reside with members of the band on the reserve with respect to any matter in relation to which the council may make by-laws in respect of members of the band;

    • (p.3) to authorize the Minister to make payments out of capital or revenue moneys to persons whose names were deleted from the Band List of the band;

    • (p.4) to bring subsection 10(3) or 64.1(2) into effect in respect of the band;

    • (q) with respect to any matter arising out of or ancillary to the exercise of powers under this section; and

    • (r) the imposition on summary conviction of a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days, or both, for violation of a by-law made under this section.

  • Marginal note:Power to restrain by order where conviction entered

    (2) Where any by-law of a band is contravened and a conviction entered, in addition to any other remedy and to any penalty imposed by the by-law, the court in which the conviction has been entered, and any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter, may make an order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence by the person convicted.

  • Marginal note:Power to restrain by court action

    (3) Where any by-law of a band passed is contravened, in addition to any other remedy and to any penalty imposed by the by-law, such contravention may be restrained by court action at the instance of the band council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 81
  • R.S., 1985, c. 32 (1st Supp.), s. 15
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 152

 [Repealed, 2014, c. 38, s. 7]

Marginal note:Money by-laws

  •  (1) Without prejudice to the powers conferred by section 81, the council of a band may, subject to the approval of the Minister, make by-laws for any or all of the following purposes, namely,

    • (a) subject to subsections (2) and (3), taxation for local purposes of land, or interests in land, in the reserve, including rights to occupy, possess or use land in the reserve;

    • (a.1) the licensing of businesses, callings, trades and occupations;

    • (b) the appropriation and expenditure of moneys of the band to defray band expenses;

    • (c) the appointment of officials to conduct the business of the council, prescribing their duties and providing for their remuneration out of any moneys raised pursuant to paragraph (a);

    • (d) the payment of remuneration, in such amount as may be approved by the Minister, to chiefs and councillors, out of any moneys raised pursuant to paragraph (a);

    • (e) the enforcement of payment of amounts that are payable pursuant to this section, including arrears and interest;

    • (e.1) the imposition and recovery of interest on amounts that are payable pursuant to this section, where those amounts are not paid before they are due, and the calculation of that interest;

    • (f) the raising of money from band members to support band projects; and

    • (g) with respect to any matter arising out of or ancillary to the exercise of powers under this section.

  • Marginal note:Restriction on expenditures

    (2) An expenditure made out of moneys raised pursuant to subsection (1) must be so made under the authority of a by-law of the council of the band.

  • Marginal note:Appeals

    (3) A by-law made under paragraph (1)(a) must provide an appeal procedure in respect of assessments made for the purposes of taxation under that paragraph.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s approval

    (4) The Minister may approve the whole or a part only of a by-law made under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Regulations re by-laws

    (5) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the exercise of the by-law making powers of bands under this section.

  • Marginal note:By-laws must be consistent with regulations

    (6) A by-law made under this section remains in force only to the extent that it is consistent with the regulations made under subsection (5).

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-5, s. 83
  • R.S., 1985, c. 17 (4th Supp.), s. 10
 
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