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3.4  Agriculture


 

3.4.1. Background

At one point in our colonial history, the government of Canada had a plan to make our people farmers.  This policy was pursued quite aggressively on the prairies; less so in BC.  In BC, the size of most of the reserves created by the Reserve Commissioners in the nineteenth century was so small that farming was not really a viable option.  Nevertheless, our people have to some extent used their limited lands for agricultural purposes from time-to-time or for ranching.   Today, there is a BC First Nations’ Agriculture Association that supports our Nations in these pursuits.  In most cases, governance over agriculture will come up in any governance discussions and may be considered by your Nation.  This subject is linked to Land Management, Environment, Licensing, Regulation and Operation of Businesses and Taxation.

Both federal and provincial governments exercise jurisdiction over agriculture under the Constitution Act 1867.  Provincial laws have effect in a province so long as they not conflict with any Act of the Parliament of Canada.  This does not happen often, as in reality federal jurisdiction in this area is exercised only with respect to the movement, import and export and the pricing of agricultural products.  The extent to which your Nation may seek specific recognition of such powers or exercise jurisdiction in this area, will, in large part, reflect the scale of agricultural activities on your lands and whether the activity involves growing crops or ranching.  While First Nations are and can exercise jurisdiction over agriculture, Canada has an interest in seeing that provincial and federal health and safety standards for farm products are maintained. It is, therefore, unlikely that Canada would recognize First Nation jurisdiction over agriculture without the requirement that the First Nation meet or beat such standards in the First Nation law.  To date, no agreement with a First Nation includes jurisdiction to set these standards, and the question remains whether a First Nation would actually want this power and responsibility.

Today, sections 2, 33 and 71 of the Indian Act are an impediment to our Nations’ control of agriculture.  Removal of the application of these sections is desirable.  Taking over control of land management can provide the basis for a First Nation to gain control over on-reserve agricultural development.  This is how a number of post-Indian Act jurisdictional arrangements have addressed agriculture.  Where agriculture is to be addressed in governance negotiations with the Crown, the degree to which the province may become involved in negotiations is unclear, but provincial standards and laws may have to be addressed.

A reality that our First Nation may confront in discussing agriculture in BC is the application of the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and the role of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), created under the provincial Agricultural Land Commission Act (S.B.C. 2002, c. 36).  Through the ALC, certain lands in BC are designated for agricultural purposes and cannot, without considerable effort and persuasion, be used for any other purpose.  The stated purpose of this land regime is to ensure there will always be agricultural land.  While the ALR does not apply on reserve, First Nations have had to address its application during treaty negotiations regarding the transfer of ALR lands to their jurisdiction.  This is also the case outside treaty negotiations, when First Nations seek to add land in the ALR to their existing reserve land base.

 

3.4.2. Indian Act Governance

Under the Indian Act a First Nation can make by-laws in two areas: the trespass of cattle and matters related to pounds for animals (s. 81(1)(e)) and bee-keeping and poultry-raising (s.81(1((k)).  This is one area of Indian Act jurisdiction where our Nations in BC have been very active in making by-laws.  There are 47 by-laws passed under these authorities in BC.  Other references in the Indian Act include section 32 and 33 on the sale and barter of produce, but these only apply to reserves in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.  Also, section 71 refers to the Minister’s powers to operate farms on reserves.  There may also be some regulatory power open to the federal government over agriculture through one of the subjects listed in section 73 of the Indian Act.  Where a First Nation has delegated land management powers over land under sections 53 and/or section 60 of the Indian Act, this power can include acting in the place of the Minster in relation to administering interests in reserve lands, including interests related to agricultural uses of on-reserve land.

 

3.4.3. Sectoral Governance Initiatives

The Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management (1996) and the First Nations Land Management Act (S.C. 1999, c. 24) provide jurisdiction to First Nations over agricultural land on reserve, but do not set out specific jurisdiction over agriculture.  The application of those sections of the Indian Act dealing with agriculture on reserve lands are removed for First Nations with Land Codes (sections 32, 33 and 71).  There are no specific sectoral governance initiatives addressing agriculture in BC.

 

3.4.4. Comprehensive Governance Arrangements

Westbank has specific jurisdiction over agriculture.  Notably, under the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Agreement in the event of a conflict between a Westbank law and a federal or provincial law, the federal or provincial law prevails to the extent of the conflict.  The Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement addresses agriculture as an aspect of land use planning and zoning, while other treaties are silent.  While these other treaty arrangements do not specifically address jurisdiction over agriculture, to the extent that agriculture is an aspect of land management, these Nations have jurisdiction over it under their land provisions. 

 

3.4.4.1. – Comprehensive Governance Arrangement - Comparative Charts

 

  General Jurisdiction:

Sechelt

No separate treatment of agriculture in the Sechelt Act but aspects covered as a component of land management.

Westbank

Westbank First Nation has jurisdiction in relation to agriculture on Westbank Lands.  Does not include interprovincial or international trade or commerce. (Part XIII, s. 141 & 144)

Nisga’a

No separate treatment of agriculture but aspects would be addressed generally in the context of lands and legal status and capacity.

Tsawwassen

Tsawwassen Government may exercise authority over agriculture on Tsawwassen Lands through land use planning and zoning under subsection 1.d. (Ch. 6, s. 4)

Maa-nulth

No specific provisions, but aspects would be addressed under land management powers.

 

  Conflict of Laws:

Sechelt

N/A

Westbank

Westbank law prevails. (Part XIII, s. 142)

Nisga’a

N/A

Tsawwassen

Tsawwassen law prevails. (Ch. 6, s. 5)

Maa-nulth

N/A

 

3.4.5. BC First Nations’ Laws/By-laws in Force and Other Activities

Indian Act Governance

By-laws – Section 81(1)(e) Animal Control (Non-Domestic)

 

First Nation By-law# By-law Title Description

?Akisq'nuk First Nation

2

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

To Provide For The Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle. (Domestic Animals)

Adams Lake

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, The Establishment Of A Pound, And Appointment Of A Poundkeeper.

Campbell River

5

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Chawathil

-

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Comox

7-2000

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Cowichan

1991-1

HEALTH

By-Law Respecting Animal Control 1992 Amendments

Ditidaht

2006-002

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Doig River

3

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Fort Nelson First Nation

2006-01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting the Control of Animals

Gitanyow

1997-D02

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Gitwangak

1991-13

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Glen Vowell

2001.001

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Care And Control Of Animals

Haisla Nation

UNNUMBERED

TRAFFIC, ANIMAL, NOISE, NUISANCE, FIREARMS, FIRE

By-Law Respecting Traffic, Animal Control, Nuisance, Noise, Firearms, Fire Protection, Emergency Program, Smoke Alarms (General Provisions That Include All These Subjects) Amendments

Halfway River First Nation

2009.01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Cattle Control

Kamloops

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, Establishment Of A Pound, The Appointment Of A Poundkeeper

Kamloops

1998-01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Care And Control Of Animals

Kamloops

-

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting The Protection Against And The Prevention Of Trespass By Animals.

Kwikwetlem First Nation

-

AMIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Lax-kw'alaams

2010-02

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Little Shuswap Lake

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, The Establishment Of A Pound, The Appointment Of A Poundkeeper

Lower Nicola

10

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Moricetown

2004-01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Musqueam

-

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Neskonlith

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, Establishment Of A Pound, Appointment Of A Poundkeeper

Nicomen

-

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control And Licensing

Nuxalk Nation

10

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, Establishment Of A Pound, The Appointment Of A Poundkeeper

Osoyoos

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, The Establishment Of A Pound Etc.

Penelakut

2011-1

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting The Care And Control Of Animals On The Reserve

Penticton

2007-03

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

Shxwhá:y Village

2001-01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Care And Control Of Animals

Skeetchestn

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, Establishment Of A Pound, The Appointment Of A Poundkeeper

Skeetchestn

1

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Livestock

Skidegate

7

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting The Control Of Animals

Soda Creek

2010.01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting The Care And Control Of Animals

Songhees First Nation

2001-03

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

St. Mary's

1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals, Establishment A Pound Etc.

Stellat'en First Nation

1992.2

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

T'Sou-ke First Nation

04

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Control And Care Of Animals

T'Sou-ke First Nation

1978-1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

Protection Against And Prevention Of Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals On The Reserve

Tl'azt'en Nation

 99.02

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Care And Control Of Animals

Tobacco Plains

1982-2

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

By-Law Concerning The Trespass Of Cattle (Domestic Animals)

Ts'kw'aylaxw First Nation

82-1

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

By-Law To Control Livestock And/Or Domestic Animals From Roaming At Large. (Domestic Animals)

Tsawout First Nation

2006-01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control  - Amendment

West Moberly First Nations

2002-5

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Control Of Animals

Xaxli'p

2-74

CONTROL OF ANIMALS

By-Law Respecting Trespass By Cattle And Other Domestic Animals

Yekooche

2002-1

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Animal Control

 

By-laws – Section 81(1)(q) Ancillary powers

 

First Nation By-law# By-law Title Description

Halfway River First Nation

-

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting Cattle Control

Soda Creek

2010.01

ANIMAL CONTROL

By-Law Respecting The Care And Control Of Animals

 

 

Comprehensive Governance Arrangements

 

First Nation Law # Description

Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation

1996-05

SIGD Animal Control

Tsawwassen First Nation

082-2009

TFN Animal Control Regulation

Westbank First Nation

2005-05

WFN Animal Control Law

 

3.4.6. Resources

  • (BC) First Nations’ Agriculture Association

Physical Address:           Mailing Address:

7410 Dallas Dr.              PO Box 1186 Station Main,

Kamloops, BC                Kamloops, BC V2C 6H3

Phone:    778.469.5040

Fax:        778.469.5030

Email: info@fnala.com

  • Provincial Agricultural Land Commission

133-4940 Canada Way

Burnaby, BC V5G 4K6

Phone:         604-660-7000

Fax:         604-660-7033

www.alc.gov.bc.ca

  • Agricultural Land Commission Act

 

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

The B.C. Agriculture Plan

  • British Columbia Cattlemen's Association

#4-10145 Dallas Drive

Kamloops, BC V2C 6T4

Phone:        250-573-3611

Fax:        250-573-5155

info@cattlemen.bc.ca

www.cattlemen.bc.ca

 

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