Under provincial law, spouses are granted specific rights of ownership and occupation in the matrimonial home. While all Canadian provinces have approximately parallel matrimonial real property (MRP) laws, there existed a legal grey area with respect to MRP on reserve when one spouse was not a member of the reserve. The Federal Family Homes on Reserve and Matrimonial Interests and Rights Act (FHRMIRA), enacted in 2014, filled in the gap, granting a set of default MRP rights to non-Indigenous spouses on reserves. The legislation also recognized that, as sovereign nations, First Nations had the right to create their own MRP laws. Until a First Nations creates their own law, however, FHRMIRA is the governing legislation.
The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation has begun the process of creating our own MRP law. The Matrimonial Real Property Coordinator of the Lands Department, has developed a survey to assist our members to become aware of, and decide on, what issues they would like to address within our Matrimonial Real Property Law. We have a widespread population, with varied and contemporary relationships. Our law will fill in the gaps in the FHRMIRA, with a solution that works for us, based on our unique needs, and guided by our traditions and perspectives.
We invite all members to provide their feedback. You can find more information and complete the survey online, by visiting the MRP Survey page.
Paper copies of all information, as well as the survey itself, are available from Nuala Robinson, MRP Coordinator. Telephone: 519-534-1689 ex:241, or email: email@example.com.