In 2013 the National Aboriginal Lands Managers Association (NALMA) responded to an Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) call for proposal for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property (COEMRP).
The purpose of the Centre was to operate at arm’s length from the Government of Canada, and provide services such as:
- Guiding First Nations who are opting to develop their own Matrimonial Real Property laws
- Providing information on the protections and rights available to individuals and families living on reserve
- Assisting with implementing of the provisional federal rules
- Providing research on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
The NALMA proposal was reviewed by an Assessment Committee comprised of representatives from:
- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
- Status of Women Canada, and
- Public Safety Canada
The Assessment Committee provided a recommendation to the Minister of ISC.
Based on NALMA’s extensive experience and connection to reserve land issues, on November 14th, 2013 Minister Bernard Valcourt officially announced NALMA as the host of the Centre of Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property.
This was a five-year Minister’s commitment which was extended on for additional three years which will end March 31st, 2021.
The Centre contributed greatly to supporting First Nations’ law-making and rights and protections under the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act. (FHRMIRA)
Since inception the Centre provided the following outstanding services:
- Developed 4 effective Toolkits
- Provided training to 306 First Nations across Canada
- Funded 14 First Nations in the development and implementation of their MRP laws
- National mail distribution to over 6,000 resource materials to First Nations and partners
- Development of an interactive and resourceful COEMRP website
- Hosted 3 MRP national conferences
- Hosted 8 national engagement sessions
- Responded on average 100 referrals annually
- Built an astonishing library of resources and tools
Moving forward with Matrimonial Real Property (MRP) Support
Effective April 1, 2021, the Centre’s support services will transition into NALMA operations and will be normalized into the NALMA mandate until March 31st, 2023.