The First Nations Gazette (FNG) has recently completed an intensive project digitizing close to 3,000 First Nation by-laws, currently in force, and passed pursuant to s. 81 and s. 85.1 of the Indian Act. By-laws passed under s.81 provide powers to band councils for the governance of their community while by-laws passed under s. 85.1 provide for the regulation of intoxicants.
The digitization project, which took eight months to complete, required the collaboration of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada officials and the FNG publication team. The completion of this project means for the first time, we now have quick and easy access to these by-laws.
In December 2014, the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act was passed. As a result First Nations can now bring their s. 81 and s. 85.1 by-laws into force by publishing them in the First Nations Gazette. Alternatively, they may post them on their own website or in a local newspaper. This provides First Nations with autonomy over the enactment and coming into force of by-laws and the day-to-day governance of their communities.
By-laws passed pursuant to s.83 of the Indian Act have been published in the Gazette since it was launched on Aboriginal Day in 1997, under the joint auspices of the Indian Taxation Advisory Board (the predecessor to the FNTC) and the Native Law Centre, University of Saskatchewan.
To view these by-laws and to learn more about the cost-free services offered by the First Nations Gazette, please visit www.fng.ca.