Common Questions

I’m interested in rights of band members

Aboriginal rights are the common law rights of Aboriginal people flowing from their occupation of the land before the British Crown claimed sovereignty (exercised authority) over it. Aboriginal rights include traditional harvesting activities such as fishing, hunting, gathering, and trapping. In addition, there are rights that flow from being a member of a band.

Good starting points include:

  • Benefits, Services, and Resources for Aboriginal Peoples, from the Legal Services Society, includes a chapter on “Indian Status and Band Membership Rights”. This chapter explains how status (registration under the Indian Act) is not the same as band membership. Information is provided about who is eligible for status and band membership and how to apply for each.
  • Aboriginal People and the Law in British Columbia, from the Legal Services Society, is a guide for legal advocates about Aboriginal issues including band issues. The chapter "Indian Status and Band Membership" discusses the rights of band members. The chapter on "Harvesting Rights" covers Aboriginal rights to fish, hunt, trap and gather.

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed January 2015

Aboriginal rights, rights of band members, band membership