Sociology Index


Claims to land made by Native groups covered by treaties but where the terms of treaties have not been met or land has been removed over the years without consent.

Specific land claims arise from alleged non-fulfilment of treaties or other legal obligations, or from the alleged improper administration of lands. It was not until 1973 that the federal government began to consider specific land claims from various First Nations.

Indigenous Land Claims in Canada: A Retrospective Analysis
Research Issues in Real Estate - Indigenous Peoples and Real Estate Valuation
Robert A. Simons and Shwetha H. Pai, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University.

Abstract: Many indigenous people have been deprived of their lands and resources by military domination, unlawful and fraudulent settlements, forcible removal and relocation, and illegal expropriation. Since about 1950, a growing international movement has led to recognizing and protecting the specific rights of indigenous peoples by both international agencies and through national legislatures.

This study analyzes the indigenous land claims process in Canada. It covers the evolution of a legal land claims process, focusing on specific claims before the Indian Claims Commission and the comprehensive claims with respect to the common types of claims in Canada, the methods of compensation/restitution, and the effectiveness of the present system. In addition, this study reports on and analyzes outcomes and suggests policy recommendations for other countries that are developing a process for indigenous peoples’ land claims.

Prepared by: Emma Butt, Mary C. Hurley
Law and Government Division, 1 April 2006.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Canada instituted policies describing two broad categories of Aboriginal “claims” and outlining measures for dealing with them. Comprehensive claims involve assertions of unextinguished Aboriginal title to land and resources. Specific claims declare grievances over Canada's alleged failures to discharge specific obligations to First Nations groups under a number of headings. This paper provides a brief review of developments related to the specific claim system.