Crown Land and Aboriginal Land Programs Section

The section works closely with various government departments and branches, as well as federal and municipal staff and officials.  General responsibilities of the section include preparation of new or revised Crown land policies and procedures for consideration by departmental executive as well as the review and initiation of proposals for changes to Crown land regulations/fees. 

Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) Program

The TLE program area is responsible for the Crown land clearance and transfer processes of land in accordance with the Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement.  ArcView GIS is used to identify land selection locations, produce shape files for distribution to other departments and agencies for review, calculate acreages, display previous dispositions, and produce reports for Manitoba, Canada, and First Nations.  The branch maintains detailed and effective record keeping, status tracking and issue resolution systems and procedures. [See Section 6 for additional details]

Cottage Lot Program/First Nation Partnerships

This section is responsible for the provincial Cottage Lot Program as well as other recreational Crown land development proposals. The Provincial Cottage Initiative provides land opportunities for the cottage development on Crown land and carries out consultation on proposed cottage developments with the local communities as per The Planning Act and consultation with First Nations regarding any adverse effects on treaty or aboriginal rights.

In regards to developing First Nation Partnerships, the section works towards developing agreements to address matters such as planning and design, construction, sales and marketing, economic opportunities for the First Nation communities, sharing of costs and benefits.

To date, the Cottage Lot Program is estimated to have produced around $100 million in economic activity, through lot sales, construction, purchasing of goods and services and recreational spending. These developments create opportunities for local employment and new business start-ups which helps to grow the local economy.

Crown Land and Federal Land Programs

Through the Branch’s Land Application Review Committee (LARC) the Section is responsible for the review and consideration to approve, conditionally approve or disapprove; applications for Crown Land permits, leases, sales, licences of occupation, easements, etc., and to provide instructions to the Crown Land and Property Agency regarding the dispositions.  The process verifies that the land use classification of all Crown land and the recommendation of parcels for specific designation or sale has been thoroughly reviewed, taking into account the needs of all relevant government departments and Crown agencies

The Government of Manitoba recognizes it has a duty to consult in a meaningful way with Aboriginal communities when any proposed provincial law, regulation, decision or action may infringe upon or adversely affect the exercise of a treaty or Aboriginal right of that Aboriginal community.  The LARC ensures Crown consultation activities with aboriginal peoples related to Crown land proposals under administration of the Branch is undertaken in accordance with the provincial policies and guidelines where there is known potential for an adverse affect on treaty and aboriginal rights.

In regards to Federal Land Programs, the jurisdiction over land at Churchill between federal, provincial, and railway interests has historically been unclear.  Canada, in the late 1980’s indicated they wished to dispose of a large number of lands at Churchill to Manitoba, which are under federal control.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Small Craft Harbours continues to update their needs in respect of lands and waterlots required from Manitoba necessary to carry out harbor operations.  Other federal land requests involve lands for the Department of National Defense and Parks Canada.

Other Aboriginal Land Settlement Programs

The Aboriginal Land Programs area is also responsible for various non-TLE agreements and programs involving First Nations and Aboriginal Communities. These include the Northern Flood Agreement, Grand Rapids Forebay Agreements, land exchanges and other requests from Canada and legal counsel.  Currently these requests total 500,000 acres.  Program staff ensure implementation is carried out in accordance with the respective land settlement agreements and relevant policies and legislation.

Staff provide valuable technical expertise and assistance to all parties, are involved at all levels of discussion and are responsible for the due diligence review, approvals and legal documents related to the Crown lands to be transferred under the agreements.

Wild Rice Program

Weather events in recent years have negatively impacted the Wild Rice production in the province.  However, the Branch continues to work towards policy and procedures that will address concerns raised by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and other resource managers along with the needs of the industry.