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Aboriginal land claim boundaries

Natural Resources Canada’s Surveyor General Branch (SGB) regulates all legal surveys on Canada Lands, which includes more than 3,100 Indian reserves. Its Canada Lands Survey System provides professional standards, regulations, tools and data for people involved in surveying and registering legal survey plans for Canada Lands.

Surveys provide greater certainty over rights to land and resources, particularly in the North where world-class mineral, oil and gas deposits mean opportunities for investment, economic development and growth.

Comprehensive land claims

Comprehensive land claims clarify how a territory is managed and shared, and deal with the unfinished business of treaty-making in Canada. They arise when Aboriginal land rights were not dealt with by past treaties (i.e., historical treaties signed between 1907 and 1923) or through other legal means. In such cases, modern treaties (i.e., since 1973), are negotiated between the Indigenous group, Canada and the relevant province or territory.

The SGB ensures that Canada meets its obligation to define the extent of land negotiated within comprehensive claims. More than 99% of the surveying required for these claims is carried out by private land surveying companies in the largest legal survey undertakings in Canada since the settling of the West.

More information

Read the results section of the SGB annual reviews to learn more about progress on current Land Claim Agreement survey obligations. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada has tools and information about First Nations land management.

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