The authors not only investigate the current forms of property rights on reservations but also expose the limitations of each system, showing that customary rights are insecure, certificates of possession cannot be sold outside the First Nation, and leases are temporary. As well, analysis of legislation, court decisions, and economic reports reveals that current land management has led to unnecessary economic losses. The authors propose creation of a First Nations Property Ownership Act that would make it possible for First Nations to take over full ownership of reserve lands from the Crown, arguing that permitting private property on reserves would provide increased economic advantages. An engaging and well-reasoned book, Beyond the Indian Act is a bold argument for a new system that could improve the quality of life for First Nations people in communities across the country.
Tom Flanagan is professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary and author of Harper's Team: Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power and First Nations? Second Thoughts. Christopher Alcantara is assistant professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. Andre Le Dressay is director of Fiscal Realities Economists and holds a PhD in Economics from Simon Fraser University. C.T. (Manny) Jules is chief of the First Nations Tax Commission and a former chief of the Kamloops Indian Band.