A Systematic Review of the Indian Mining Regulations in Comparison to Saskatchewan Mining Law Where the First Nations Holds Mineral Title


  • P. Dawn Mills PhD, Associate Director of Indigenous Natural Resources, Centre for Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration, Lakehead University – Academic




The Indian Mining Regulations were adopted in 1954, revised in 1961, and amended in 1968 and 1978 as a means to promote mineral resource development on First Nation reserves, where First Nations hold title to the mineral resource. In this article, the Indian Mining Regulations, as part of a suite of regulations associated with the Indian Act, are outlined in relationship to Saskatchewan mining law. First is a general survey of First Nations’ mineral titles across Canada where the Indian Mining Regulations apply. This article then discusses the application of these Regulations; compliance with provincial law; the disposition of minerals; permits; leases; and, finally, the assignment of royalties. It is recommended that a critical review of mineral resource potentials, exploration, mine permitting, and standards for environmental monitoring and reclamation be established prior to any assignment of the existing Indian Mining Regulations against any mineral resource development that occurs on First Nation lands or reserves.