There are limited economic opportunities on the reserve lands currently occupied by K’ómoks. Our land base will change from 813.5 acres, to over 12,500 acres owned by K’ómoks once the Treaty is fully implemented.
Currently, we do not own our Indian reserves. These are owned by the federal government. We have the right to live on these reserves, but we cannot do many things on them without the permission of the Minister of Indian Affairs. Now that the Land Code is in effect, we have a lot more say over our I.R. lands, as Ministerial consent is no longer be required.
We cannot easily get a mortgage on our own from a commercial lender for a house on reserve because we do not actually own the Indian Reserve land where the house is located.
After the Treaty, K’ómoks First Nation will own the Treaty Settlement Lands, including I.R.s and thousands of acres of more land, which is currently Provincial and Federal Crown land. We will be able to allocate ownership of these lands to our people and if our laws provide for it, others. These people may use their lands to get a mortgage from the bank without needing the help or guarantee from the Minister of Indigenous Crown Relations (formerly Indian Affairs) or the band.
K’ómoks lands will have a commercial value after the treaty. Currently, they have little real estate/commercial value.
All laws for K’ómoks Lands will be established by the K’ómoks government in consultation with K’ómoks Members, and not the Minister of Indian Affairs. K’ómoks will be able to enact land use planning laws to determine which kind of development can take place on our lands, levy property taxes, and be the land developer.
Under our laws, we will be able to set out which lands will always remain community lands and which lands we might want to sell or lease to non-members for economic development purposes and give legal force to our land use plans. Non-member residents will pay land taxes and income taxes to KFN.
KFN will own the forests on TSL and the subsurface resources beneath them if they are currently owned by British Columbia or if they are returned to the Crown by current owners.
KFN laws will apply to residents on TSL whether they are KFN members or not.