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Canada Lands surveys: Publications

Use these publications to help you understand the roles and responsibilities of the Surveyor General Branch regarding Canada Lands, as well as the guiding principles and standards for surveying on Canada Lands.

For surveyors

National Standards for the Survey of Canada Lands
Are you a professional Canada Lands surveyor? If so, you’ll need to access the current general instructions of the Surveyor General of Canada Lands in this document. It contains the technical standards that apply to surveys undertaken on Canada Lands and for lands that must be surveyed under the Canada Lands Surveys Act.

Getting a Survey Done
This guide is for government departments and Indigenous nations or communities who administer Canada Lands, as well as Canada Lands surveyors and those requiring a survey. It clarifies the survey process and regulations for surveys on Canada Lands. See also Surveying of First Nation Lands managed under a Land Code below.

Canadian Generally Accepted Land Surveying Principles (PDF, 1.95 MB)

Accompanying poster (PDF, 1.58 MB)
Are you involved in land surveying in Canada? This document outlines principles that the Canadian Council on Geomatics – Cadastral Forum wants you to keep top of mind when you develop land surveying governance models and legal boundary frameworks or conduct surveys in Canada.

Surveys, Parcels and Tenure on Canada Lands (PDF, 3.9 MB)
Do you work with Canada Lands? Or are you simply curious about the roles and responsibilities of the Surveyor General Branch? This handbook clarifies important aspects of land tenure on Canada Lands, which fall under the purview of the Surveyor General Branch. These include First Nation reserves, national parks, offshore areas and the North (Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon).

Water Boundaries on Canada Lands: That Fuzzy Shadowland (PDF, 5.8 MB)
Are you involved in surveying the water boundaries of Canada Lands? The guiding principles you should follow are outlined here, in a monograph that will help you tackle the complexities of clarifying water boundaries on Canada Lands.

The Canada‑United States boundary

International Boundary Commission Annual Reports
Learn how the Canada-United States joint International Boundary Commission maintains the boundary between Canada and the United States each year. Read about its yearly activities, which include inspections, maintaining and repairing boundary markers, and settling questions about the location of the boundary.

Indigenous lands

Surveying of First Nation Lands managed under a Land Code
This guide, prepared by the Surveyor General Branch, is intended to provide First Nations that have a Land Code in effect, with information, tools and links to additional resources when considering having land survey work conducted on their lands.

Boundary Dispute Resolution Unit: Findings from Research and Engagement (PDF, 3.39 MB)
This report summarizes the findings to date from over 50 Engagement sessions with Indigenous Communities and organizations, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) professionals, Provincial government officials, and other interested parties. In addition, existing dispute resolution models in Canada are examined.

Indian lands history in Quebec
On this page, you’ll find links to descriptions of more than 40 Indigenous lands in Quebec, as well as links to corresponding maps. The PDFs contain a brief description of the land; an overview of the legislative, legal and administrative documents related to its status or transfer; and a brief history of any surveys of its limits. Note that the official documents referred to in these PDFs are the final reference point.

Parcel Fabric Renewal (PDF, 3.54 MB)
This report contains the results of five pilot projects that engaged in community-based, cost‑effective and timely land development via cadastral parcel fabric renewal on five Canadian First Nation reserves. It can help other communities that wish to conduct similar projects.

Property Rights System on Cree and Naskapi Lands in Quebec (PDF, 5.01 MB)
This document outlines the property rights system used by the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee and the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. It will be helpful if you’re involved in the management and administration of lands in those areas.

Surveyor General Branch biennial reports

Do you need an overview of the Surveyor General Branch’s activities? The branch creates a report every two years that summarizes its activities across Canada:

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