The Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Rights and Interest Act (FHRMIRA) became Canadian law in 2013, with the first part of the act, “First Nation Law Making Mechanism,” coming into force in 2013.
Part two was the “Provisional Federal Rules” that came into effect the following year in December of 2014, which provided a template for Onkwehonwe communities to use until that community could develop their own.
“Laws are not tested before application; they do not bear witness to reality until they are already enforced and already causing harm”Mohawk, Turtle clan member
Essentially the Indian Act had erased thousands of years of matrilineal land entitlement, only to be replaced by a male-dominated land ownership model. Although Politicians and Organizations thought the act would balance out the damage that the Indian act had caused, it has unsurprisingly created other problems.
Reserve land, often referred to as Crown Land, is mistaken as having no real value in the Canadian worldview. The misconception of Ownership has devalued property to the point that Onkwehonwe cannot use their land as collateral for loans.
It simultaneously created a situation where Onkwehonwe partners would not benefit similarly from the division of assets. On the other hand, a Non-Native partner could benefit by forcing a sale of a Matrimonial home using off-reserve home values.
The legislation may have been well-intentioned in the beginning, meaning its development was created to protect a Marginalized and Vulnerable population from experiencing catastrophic loss and prevent homelessness.
But like every piece of Canadian legislation forcefully applied to Onkwehonwe Nations through federal band councils, there have been consequences and many cases of misuse through manipulation.
Lets Talk Land