December 16, 2014 - Ottawa, ON - Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced the coming into force of the provisional federal rules of the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act. The implementation of the second phase of the Act will provide women and families living on reserve with access to the same matrimonial rights and protections that all other Canadians have.
Pursuant to the Act, judges will be able to issue emergency protection orders, remove violent partners from the family home, and hear cases utilizing First Nations' own matrimonial real property laws that respect their culture and traditions once those laws are enacted within the provisions provided.
The Act will also continue to provide a mechanism for First Nations to develop their own matrimonial real property laws. First Nations may enact community-specific matrimonial real property laws at anytime pursuant to the Act.
As soon as a First Nation enacts its own laws, the provisional federal rules in the Act will no longer apply. The Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property is in place to assist First Nation communities with the understanding and application of the new Act and to guide First Nations who are opting to develop their own matrimonial real property laws.
Closing this legislative gap followed years of engaging in studies, education, information and consultation with national Aboriginal organizations, First Nations and First Nations organizations and individuals.
The Harper Government remains deeply committed to further protecting the rights of Aboriginal people, particularly women and children living on reserves. With this law, our Government is taking concrete steps to ensure the equitable distribution of real property assets in the event of death, divorce or separation.
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
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