Specific law-making authority is delegated to Chiefs and Councils pursuant to sections 81, 83 and 85.1 of the Indian Act.
A Band by-law is a local law that is passed by A Band Council to help control certain activities within the community. By-laws can be passed by band councils under the authority given to them in the Indian Act. The by-law has absolutely no effect outside reserve boundaries. A by-law is strictly a local law.
1.2 AUTHORITY TO MAKE BY-LAW AND USES OF BY-LAWS
Bands get their legal authority to make their own local laws through sections 81, 83, and 85.1 of the Indian Act. These by-laws are passed by Band Councils, and all Band Councils, whether they have been elected pursuant to the provisions of the Indian Act, or chosen under Band custom, may enact by-laws in accordance with these sections.
1.2.2 SECTION 83 – MONEY BY-LAW
1.2.1 SECTION 81 – GENERAL REGULATORY BY-LAWS
Section 81 contains a list of powers available to a Band Council. Under this section, a council may make by-laws to regulate many areas of activity on the reserve. Some of the most important areas are: traffic control, residency, health, nuisances, wildlife conservation and zoning.
Section 83 provides authority for by-laws dealing with matters such as property taxation, the expenditure of band moneys and business licensing. Since the coming into force of the Kamloops Amendment (Bill C-115) in July 1988, a band no longer must be declared to be in an “advanced state of development” in order to pass money by-laws under this section. One important point to note regarding money by-laws is that they must receive ministerial approval. Section 83 by-laws must be sent to the following address for review and recommendations to the Minister:
First Nation Tax commission
321-345 Yellowhead Highway
Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1
TEL (250) 828-9857
FAX (250) 828-9858
Requests for information regarding section 83 by-laws should also be directed to this address.
1.2.3 SECTION 85.1; BY-LAWS RELATING TO INTOXICANTS
Pursuant to section 85.1, a Band Council may also pass by-laws relating to intoxicants. This section provides authority for by-laws:
- prohibiting the sale, barter, supply or manufacture of intoxicants on the reserve of the band;
- prohibiting any person from being intoxicated on the reserve;
- prohibiting any person from having intoxicants in his possession on the reserve; and
- providing for exceptions established pursuant to paragraph (b) or (c).