Information Letter: Provincial landowner notification requirements and considerations on First Nation lands

Original January 2020, updated November 2021 to include Liability Reduction Program.

Background

Industry is required to engage with landowners at various stages of oil and gas development, typically by way of personal consultation or written notification, sometimes in order to satisfy provincial licencing requirements (provincial landowner notification). This includes activities such as licence amendments and cancellations, facility installations and modifications, and abandonment activities. Certificates of title issued by the province are typically reviewed by industry to determine which persons or organizations hold legal title to a piece of land (landowner) to ensure they engage with the appropriate landowner.

First Nation reserve land (First Nation lands) is defined in the Indian Act as "…a tract of land, the legal title to which is vested in Her Majesty, which has been set apart by Her Majesty for the use and benefit of a band…" These lands are unique from other land in that:

Although legal title to the lands is held by the federal Crown, industry is required to engage with First Nations prior to issuing a landowner notification and to send such notifications to the First Nation, Certificate of Possession (CP) Holders (see box below), and the federal Crown.

Certificate of Possession Holders

Note that some First Nations have allotted lawful possession to a parcel of land within their lands to one or more members of their Nation in accordance with s20 of the Indian Act; such allotments are evidenced by the issuance of a Certificate of Possession. This creates a unique form of individual land tenure that shifts the right to the use and benefit of the allotted lands from being the collective right of the First Nation to being the right of possession of the individual First Nation member. Certificate holders are commonly referred to as Locatees or CP Holders and their certificates are registered in the Indian Lands Registry System (ILRS) by Indigenous Services Canada.

Notifications for activities on First Nation Traditional Lands (i.e. lands not held by the federal Crown) are outside of IOGC's mandate and are not subject to this information letter.

Landowner notification information requirements on First Nation lands

In addition to provincial regulatory requirements, notifications associated with First Nation lands must contain the following five information components:

  1. First Nation reserve name and number, in full
    1. Note: this information can be confirmed through various sources available to the public, including the First Nation Profiles and CLSS Map Browser websites, or by reviewing the information contained within the surface contract (e.g. surface lease, right-of-way)
  2. legal land description of where the work will be carried out on the First Nation lands (e.g. LSD 1-2-3-4 W5M)
  3. IOGC surface contract number (e.g. OS-9999, RW-9999)
    1. Note: If you are uncertain as to this number, contact the Liability Reduction Program (LRP) Project Team (LRP-PRP@sac-isc.gc.ca) for work funded by the provincial site rehabilitation and liability reduction programs (provincial programs), and the Lease Administration Unit (vishal.saini@sac-isc.gc.ca) for all other surface contracts
  4. program and increment, period, or phase if the work is funded by one of the provincial programs (e.g. Alberta Site Rehabilitation Program Period 6)
  5. map identifying the location of where the work will be carried out on the First Nation lands (e.g. survey plan, aerial image)
    1. Note: most survey plans associated with the surface contract have been recorded and issued a unique number; these plans are available for download through the CLSS Map Browser and the Survey Plan Search websites

Completeness of First Nation lands notifications

Landowner notifications lacking one or more of the above will not be acknowledged by IOGC until all deficiencies are remedied.

Landowner notification process

Landowner notifications should only be submitted to the First Nation, CP Holder, and IOGC once industry engagement with the First Nation is complete. The two main types of landowner notifications on First Nation lands should be sent as follows:

Work funded by one of the provincial programs

TO: Chief and Council
‹ Name of First Nation ›
c/o Oil and Gas Representative
‹ mailing address or email address, as specified by the First Nation ›

TO: For Certificate of Possession lands, if applicable
‹ First Nation Member in Lawful Possession of the lands / CP Holder ›
‹ mailing address or email address, as specified by the First Nation Member ›

CC: Project Manager, Liability Reduction Program
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
LRP-PRP@sac-isc.gc.ca

Liability Reduction Program notification reminders

Only notifications associated with one of the provincial programs can be sent to IOGC by email.

Ensure you include the IOGC contract number in the subject line, e.g. "Abandonment Notification (RW-9999)"

All other notifications

TO: Chief and Council
‹ Name of First Nation ›
c/o Oil and Gas Representative
‹ mailing address or email address, as specified by the First Nation ›

TO: For Certificate of Possession lands, if applicable
‹ First Nation Member in Lawful Possession of the lands / CP Holder ›
‹ mailing address or email address, as specified by the First Nation Member ›

CC: Manager, Environment
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
100-9911 Chiila Blvd
Tsuut'ina AB T3T 0E1

Original copies only

An original copy must be sent to IOGC's office, as emails will not be accepted. The notification will be scanned into IOGC's electronic repository.

Other IOGC consultation and notification requirements

Landowner notifications sent pursuant to provincial regulatory requirements do not negate or replace IOGC's consultation and notification requirements for oil and gas development on First Nation lands, which are summarized in the "Environmental Review Form Guide."

For more information

Manager, Environment
Indian Oil and Gas Canada
100-9911 Chiila Blvd
Tsuut'ina AB T3T 0E1
Telephone: 403-292-5625
Email: aadnc.contactiogc.aandc@canada.ca

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