Find out about land claims negotiations and other talks with partners to advance reconciliation across Canada.
Different paths toward reconciliation
The Government of Canada is deeply committed to advancing reconciliation and renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.
The Government of Canada is working in a spirit of collaboration and renewal with Indigenous groups and provincial and territorial partners to advance our shared journey toward reconciliation along many different paths. This ongoing joint work includes:
- exploring new ways to work together at Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination Discussion tables
- negotiating modern treaties and self-government
- resolving specific claims
Negotiations are taking place across Canada to help right past wrongs, advance reconciliation and shape a new relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada believes that negotiations and respectful dialogue are the best ways to resolve outstanding issues. Negotiations lead to shared solutions that work for and benefit everyone.
Negotiated agreements strengthen relationships and resolve longstanding disputes in a balanced way that respects the rights of Indigenous people and all Canadians. These co-developed agreements can also be a key path to economic growth, creating new investment opportunities for the benefit of communities today as well as future generations.
About land claims and Indigenous rights
The Government of Canada and Indigenous groups are working together to address many different land-related disputes through negotiations. These outstanding issues are commonly called land claims but not all of them are alike and they are addressed in different ways.
Many of these disputes are rights-based. Treaty rights and Aboriginal rights (commonly referred to as Indigenous rights) are recognized and affirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and are also a key part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has committed to adopt.
Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions
Some land-related topics are being addressed through Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions. Through these discussions, Canada and Indigenous groups are exploring new ways of working together.
These innovative discussions (which can cover many topics) are driven by the priorities of the Indigenous group and are taking place both within treaty negotiation processes and with those outside treaty negotiations to address their unique rights, interests and needs.
Modern treaties and self-government
Other land-related disputes (called comprehensive land claims) arise in parts of Canada where past treaties were not signed. These claims are addressed through the negotiation of agreements called modern treaties with Indigenous groups and provincial and territorial governments. These forward-looking modern treaties define ongoing rights to land and natural resources and often include Indigenous self-government.
Treaties are a comprehensive way to recognize rights, advance self-determination and create an enduring relationship between Indigenous groups and the government.
Resolving specific claims
Some disputes relating to land are called specific claims and stem in part from historic treaties signed with First Nations between 1701 and 1923. Specific claims are resolved through negotiated settlements that provide compensation for a past wrong. Not all specific claim settlements are land-related. Some of these settlements relate to past grievances about how First Nation money was handled by the government.
Negotiated specific claim settlements help right past wrongs, renew relationships and advance reconciliation for the benefit of all Canadians.