For many years, the idea of forming a National Lands Managers Association had been on the minds of Lands Managers across Canada. In June of 1999 a group of Lands Managers gathered in Toronto Ontario and elected an Ad Hoc Committee and developed a plan of action for the establishment of a National Lands Managers Association. The Plan of Action developed provided basic direction and the mandate of the Association.

On April 17, 2000, Leona Irons was hired as the Executive Director of NALMA. Jill Knott was hired one month later and an office was set up at Curve Lake First Nation. NALMA’s first contribution was in July of 2000 and was flowed through Curve Lake First Nation. Curve Lake First Nation was very supportive with NALMA’s endeavours in establishing itself.

On December 21, 2000, the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA) became officially incorporated as a non-profit, non-political organization with an elected Regional Board of Directors.