Define Land Claims Agreement

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Historically, very few contracts have been signed in British Columbia. An independent special body called the B.C. Treaty Commission was established in 1992, by mutual agreement between Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit, to be the “guardian of the process” of contract negotiations in the province. In 1973, the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada (ITC) began studying the use and occupation of Inuit land in the Arctic. Three years later, in 1976, the ITC launched the idea of creating a territory in Nunavut and the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission, which recommended dividing the Northwest Territories into two ridings: the Western Arctic (now Northwest Territory) and Nunatsiaq (now Nunavut). In 1982, the Nunavut Tunngavik Federation (TFN) negotiated the fomentary claim contract with the federal government. The vote in the Northwest Territories determined the creation of Nunavut by a majority of 56%. The TFN and representatives of the federal and territorial governments signed the Fundamental Law Agreement in 1990. In 1992, TFN and federal negotiators agreed on key parts of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. On May 25, 1993, Paul Quassa, then president of the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut, and Brian Mulroney, then Prime Minister of Canada, and Tom Siddon, then Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, signed the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. On July 7, 1993, the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Nunavut Act were passed by the Canadian Parliament and obtained Royal Approval. In 1998, amendments to the Nunavut Act were passed by Parliament and received Royal Approval. In 1999, Nunavut became a reality with an independent government.

[5] The purpose of the land rights negotiations in the contractual process is to create jurisdiction and resolve uncertainties about the ownership and use of land and resources. A contract will codify the rights and obligations of the parties. The process focuses on negotiations between indigenous groups and the federal government, in some cases provincial and territorial governments, as well as other third parties. The process, which aims to make economic and social adjustments between two different societies, is formally based on legal concepts such as land titles, indigenous rights and contracts. Modern contracts or large land-access settlements contain provisions that allow Aboriginal groups to own land, be administered by land and resources, participate in resource development revenues and govern themselves.

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