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Indian Act

The Indian Act is Canadian federal legislation, first passed in 1876, and amended several times since.

It sets out certain federal government obligations and regulates the management of Indian reserve lands, Indian moneys and other resources. Among its many provisions, the Indian Act currently requires the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to manage certain moneys belonging to First Nations and Indian lands and to approve or disallow First Nations by-laws. In 2001, the national initiative Communities First: First Nations Governance was launched, to consult with First Nations peoples and leadership on the issues of governance under the Indian Act. The process will likely take two to three years before any new law is put in place.