Membertou could take major step on road to self-government
MEMBERTOU — Band officials are gearing up for a possible fall referendum on a new land code that would represent a
MEMBERTOU — Band officials are gearing up for a possible fall referendum on a new land code that would represent a significant step on the road to self-government. It would also be a big step away from what most aboriginal people see as the paternalism of the federal Indian Act.
A citizen-based committee has been researching several aspects of self-government, including a land code and a citizenship code, and the land code is closest to being ready for a community vote, said Dan Christmas, senior adviser to the band.
“Right now, the federal government, under the Indian Act, manages reserve lands,” he said.
“What this land code will do, if it’s enacted, is Membertou chief and council will take over jurisdiction and management of reserve lands and the federal government will no longer have a management role.”
Christmas said under the Indian Act, land management includes zoning and environmental controls, and the authority to issue deeds and titles to individual band members, among other things.
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