Our Services
Leases, Permits and Environmental Assessments

The Lands and Natural Resources Branch are responsible for the administration and management of Opaskwayak lands.

We oversee six reserve areas and Opaskwayak’s entitlement to an additional 22,690 hectares (56,068 acres) to be set aside as reserve land through our Treaty Land Entitlement Agreement (TLEA).

All applications for the use of land, along with relevant documents, are submitted to the Land Authority for approval or denial, in accordance with “Regulations for Applications for Use of Land” enacted April 11, 2011.

An interest in Opaskwayak Lands is the legal right to occupy, use, or otherwise benefit from reserve land. This is a formal way of granting use of lands to either an Opaskwayak member, non-Opaskwayak member, Opaskwayak business, or other businesses. This allows Opaskwayak to be aware of what the land use (purpose) is for, and who is occupying the land.

“Together, we are creating a culture

where the land has a voice and

that voice is heard.”

If you are seeking an interest in Opaskwayak Lands 

All transactions or use of land must be registered in Opaskwayak’s Registry System and also with the First Nation Lands Registry System in Ottawa. Transactions without authority are void and have no effect; therefore, are not enforceable.

Permits for use of land

Permits allow for the use of reserve land in a limited way for a specific period of time. Permits do not give ‘exclusive rights’ and are generally short-term. Any interest granted to use, remove, occupy, or enter upon the land will have terms that are set out in writing and does not confer ‘exclusive use’.

Leasing reserve lands

Leases grant an ‘exclusive right’ for a specific period of time. Leases are generally long-term and will require legal description. There are terms and conditions that are set in writing, which grant exclusive use during the term, for a particular purpose.

The Land Authority will review each application if approved, and in most cases, will be party to sign on behalf of Opaskwayak.

Leases possess certain legal characteristics, which govern the relationship between the Lessor (landlord) and the Lessee (tenant). Depending on the use, appropriate documents are entered into. It could be for either residential, commercial, agricultural, recreational, or Opaskwayak public interest purposes.


Reserve status is maintained; ‘designation of land’ or ‘surrender of land’ for leasing purposes is no longer applicable to Opaskwayak. Opaskwayak now has Zoning Regulations and Land Use Land Law.

Environmental assessment

For land interest holders or potential landholders, the Land Authority ensures that an Environmental Assessment Screening Form is completed. This screening form is used to determine if a larger environmental assessment of a project needs to be completed.

The key operating principles for the environmental assessment should:

  • Be applied to proposals with significant effects;
  • Begin early in the project cycle;
  • Address ecological, social, and economic effects;
  • Identify and take account of community views;
  • Result in a statement of effects and mitigations; and,
  • Facilitate informed decision-making.