Who owns and controls settlement land?
All settlement land is owned by the TH Government. Under Section 13 of the Land and Resources Act, only Council can grant an interest in settlement land. Council also has the power to set aside land and to refuse or place conditions on access for any reason.
What about my expression of interest?
Before, during, and after Final Agreement negotiations, TH citizens declared interests in settlement land parcels by recording expressions of interest (EOI) in the land registry. The land registry contains over 600 EOIs.
An EOI is used to determine priority over later EOIs, but it is not a guaranteed right to the land. Under Section 13 of the Land and Resources Act, only Council can give that right by making a land grant, and it also has the power to refuse an application. Also, an EOI is not an application for a land grant. The land holders of EOIs still need to go through the application process and get Council approval to convert an EOI to a land grant.
Citizens who want to turn their EOIs into land grants should review the information below about Traditional Pursuits allocations and residential, commercial, and other land grants.
Types of land grants: Traditional Pursuits Allocation (TPA)
TPAs are different from other kinds of land grant because they are the only type that does not require a lease. Under Part V of the Land and Resources Act, Council has the power to grant an allocation to a citizen for traditional activities.
TPAs can be inherited within families, or transferred to a citizen outside the family with the approval of Council. TPAs are not granted for residential use, and cannot be used as security for a mortgage.
Because they are intended for traditional or recreational use, any development on a TPA should have very low environmental impact.
Citizens interested in applying for a TPA should contact the Land and Resources branch.
Types of land grants: residential, commercial, and other
Any person who wants to use settlement land for residential, commercial, or other non-traditional use purposes must get a land grant from Council in the form of a lease.
The Central Tr’ondëk Land Management Area Regulations require land use plans for some Klondike Highway and Sunnydale/West Dawson parcels before Council can grant leases on those parcels. In general, these are the most suitable parcels for residential and commercial development. Land use plans have not been completed for these parcels, so they are not open for development. Please consult the regulations for a complete list.
Please note that the Land and Resources Branch cannot process land grant applications for leases at this time. TH currently does not have the proper tools in place to deal with these kinds of grants.
The next section (Land Titles Project) provides details on how TH is working to make residential and commercial leases available to TH citizens.
Land Titles Project
Yukon First Nations with Final Agreements have struggled for years to develop systems that make residential and commercial land available to their citizens.
In June 2013, TH joined Champagne Aishihik First Nation, Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Kluane First Nation, Nacho Nyak Dun, the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, and the Teslin Tlingit Council to start the Land Titles Project. The project’s goal is to develop a common land titles law and electronic land registry. Once complete, this system will help all seven First Nations to grant leases in an orderly, transparent, and fair way. Citizens will be able to get mortgages to build homes and businesses, just like they can off settlement land.
TH must reform the Land and Resources Act to make the land grant process work better for TH citizens and fit properly with the new land titles law. The Natural Resources policy analyst is working with other branch staff to develop clear rules for residential and commercial land grants.
The branch will fully consult with TH citizens before bringing these reforms to the General Assembly.