Lands Management

Jessica Pickett

Lands Management Officer

AFN Map 1892

AFN Map 1892

Aamjiwnaang First Nation Administration Office
978 Tashmoo Ave.
Sarnia, ON  N7T 7H5
Phone:  519-336-8410
Fax:  519-336-0382

Land Management is the day-to-day management and administration of reserve lands, environments and resources. Regular activities of the Lands Department include, providing the membership with information on lands, assisting members with land transactions as requested, tracking and documenting land transactions in the Indian Lands Registry System (ILRS). ILRS is a database of instruments to examine, register and maintain documents relating to interests in Indian Lands.

Types of instruments prepared are transfers, leases, assignments and addendums. The Lands Department also registers documents such as mortgages, permits and estate transactions in ILRS.


The Land Manager will also provide administrative support to the Chief & Council and Administration on lands management issues. The Lands Manager is the direct contact person internally and externally for access and other lands related documents for implementation and compliance.

As of 2004, AANDC does not cover the cost of surveys. These costs must be paid by the landowner and vary in price depending on what is required to complete the work.


Aamjiwnaang First Nation lands are administered under the Reserve Lands Environmental Management Program (RLEMP).



Hydro One Culvert Installation

Hydro One Culvert Installation – Fall 2014

This is a beaver damn on Talfourd Creek near the Indian Road boundary.

Beaver Dam on Talfourd Creek near the Indian Road boundary – Summer 2014










General Terminology

AANDC – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

CLSR – Canada Lands Survey Record – is an official plan, a graphical description of boundaries of land prepared from field notes of a survey.

Certificate of Possession – documentary evidence of a Band/First Nation member’s right to lawful possession of reserve lands pursuant to the provisions of subsections 20(2), (3) or section 22, 24 or 49 Indian Act

Grantor – The person, corporation, partnership from who the interest is being acquired

Grantee – The person, corporation, partnership acquiring the interest

Joint tenants – the holding of property by two or more persons in such a manner that upon the death of one joint owner, the remaining survivor or survivors take the entire property. The interest of the deceased joint owner cannot be willed to heirs under this arrangement.

Tenants in Common – the holding of two or more persons in such a manner that upon the death of one or more owners you retain your original interest in the property; the remaining portion becomes part of the assets of the deceased and will be disposed of according to a valid will if any or by the Intestacy section of the Indian Act.

Undivided Interest – An ownership right to use and possession of a property that is shared among co-owners, with no one co-owner having exclusive rights to any portion of the property.

Locatee – the individual First Nation member who holds lawful possession of a duly allotted parcel of reserve land. A locatee must be a registered member of the First Nation making the allotment or entitled to be registered under the Indian Act.


Settling a Family Member’s Estate

When a Family Member Dies…..

  1. Notify the Department of AANDC – they will ask basic information such as the deceased’s name and date of death, Indian Registration Number and First Nation.
  2. Determine if there is a will – this may include looking through the deceased’s records or asking the band office, family members, local banks or lawyers to search for a will.
  3. If there is a will the Minister must approve it – The Minister of AANDC must approve the will. If there is no will or the Minister cannot approve the will or the will has been challenged and declared void then the estate will be distributed according to the Indian Act.
  4. The Minister appoints an administrator or executor – a will usually names an executor and that person is appointed by the Minister. If there is no will, then we refer to the Indian Act to determine who the heirs are and try to find an heir who wants to administer the estate.


Will – the legal statement concerning the disposition of one’s property after death; the document containing such wishes.

Estates – All of the assets you own when you die, including land, bank accounts, personal property, after all of your debts are paid (funeral, hydro, etc.)

Administrator – person appointed by the Minister to administer the estate (someone who handles all the legal and financial matters of the deceased’s estate). If there is no will or no one is stated in the will the Minister will appoint someone. It is not possible to have more than one appointed administrator.

Executor – person named in the will to administer (handle all the legal and financial matters) the deceased’s estate and to ensure that the details of the will are carried out. This is the same as an administrator or a personal representative. It is possible to have more than one executor named in a will.

Heir – Person(s) who may inherit from the estate of someone who died without a will (e.g., spouse, children, parents and other relatives).

Beneficiary – Persons (e.g., child, cousin, or friend) or organizations (e.g., church or animal shelter) specifically named in the will to inherit from the estate.

Intestate – the condition of having died without leaving a valid will

Succession – Entitlement to the deceased’s property by kinship

Escheat – the reversion of property to the Crown where no one is competent or available to inherit the property.


Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act Info:

Applies to married couples and common-law partners living on reserve where at least one of them is a First Nation member or an Indian. It seeks to provide basic protections and rights to individuals living on reserves regarding the family home and other matrimonial interests and /or rights, during a conjugal relationship.

Matrimonial real property can include land held by one or both spouses or common-law partners and used by the family, i.e. houses, sheds, mobile homes or other structures on that land. It does not include things such as cars, money, clothing or televisions.

On December 16, 2013 a law called the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act was put in place.

The Act gives First Nation communities the opportunity to either develop their own community matrimonial real property law or follow provisional federal rules. To develop their own law, the content must be agreed upon by the First Nation and its members. If a First Nation makes its own laws within one year, before December 16, 2014 the provisional federal rules will not apply to that community.

Should a First Nation not enact its own law the provisional federal rules are in effect and the following protections and rights would apply during a conjugal relationship, in the event of a breakdown or that relationship or on the death of their spouse or common-law partner:

  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Family Home
  • Division of On-Reserve Matrimonial Interests or Rights

The Act does not:

  • Allow non-Indians or non-members to gain permanent possession of a family home
  • Give non-members of a First Nation the ability to sell reserve land
  • Allow the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to have any role in reviewing, cancelling, rejecting or altering First Nation Laws.

General Terminology

MRP – Matrimonial Real Property, the immovable property used by a couple and their family, the most common example being a family home and the land it is situated on.

Common-law Partners – Persons who have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year

Real Property – immovable property, the most common example being a house and the land it is situated on

Personal Property – movable assets, such as cars, furniture, boats, money in the bank, or household goods

Family Home – the family matrimonial home (the structure only, not the land) situated on a reserve where the family normally lives. It will also be referred to as the “home”.