Cowichan Tribes is the 89th First Nation in Canada and the 49th First Nation in B.C. to have voted to accept a Land Management! Cowichan Tribe members on and off-reserve participated in the “Quw’utsun Tumuhw”, Cowichan Tribes Land Code vote to replace the land management provisions of the Indian Act of 1867.
Cowichan Tribes has developed a community-driven Land Code and will now enter an agreement which will provide for the transfer of their land management from Canada to Cowichan Tribes. Under the Framework Agreement, Cowichan Tribes will be able to resume and exercise their own jurisdiction, control and decision making over their lands and resources.
The Cowichan Tribes Land Code will reflect laws, traditions and ways of doing things that are most important to their community. It allows First Nations to make environmental protection laws and legal control and decision-making will be the responsibility of community members, not Canada. Twenty-five percent of the legal rules in the Indian Act will no longer apply under Cowichan Tribes Land Code. Reserve lands will never be given up, sold or reduced. Reserve lands will be protected for the use and benefit of future generations.
First Nations Land Code improves relationships with people and business who give money to help start businesses, programs or services. It increases the well-being and quality of life of members by creating more jobs, programs and services. Most opportunities being on-reserve or member owned. When First Nations are given power, control and self-governance, they are more likely to succeed.
The next step is for Cowichan Tribes members to ratify their Land Code and Individual Agreement. The ratification date is to be determined.
To learn more about the Cowichan Tribes Land Code please visit www.cowichantribes.com/landcode