Aboriginal Lands


The Aboriginal Lands product consists of polygon entities that depict the administrative boundaries (extent) of lands where the title has been vested in specific Aboriginal Groups of Canada or lands which were set aside for their exclusive benefit. More specifically it includes the following lands:

Indian Reserves
Lands that include:
  • Surrendered lands or a reserve, as defined in the Indian Act. This definition excludes Indian Settlements and Indian Communities.
  • Sechelt lands, as defined in the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, chapter 27 of the Statutes of Canada, 1986.
Land Claim Settlement Lands
Lands created under Comprehensive Land Claims Process that do not or will not have Indian Reserve status under the Indian Act. They include:
  • Category IA land or Category IA-N land, as defined in the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act, chapter 18 of the Statutes of Canada, 1984. Category 1B and category II Lands are excluded from this definition.
  • Settlement land, as defined in the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act, and lands in which an interest is transferred or recognized under section 21 of that Act. Only Yukon First Nations Settlement Lands, which were surveyed and the survey plan recorded, are included in the dataset.
  • Inuit Owned Lands (IOL) as defined in the Agreement between the Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada given effect and declared valid by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act. It includes all parcels that have been surveyed and those that do not require a survey (this includes the islands). Survey plans may not all be recorded in the CLSR at this time.
  • Gwich'in Lands as defined in the Gwich'in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, given effect and declared valid by the Gwich'in Land Claim Settlement Act.
  • Inuvialuit Lands as defined in the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act.
  • Sahtu Lands as defined in The Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement given effect and declared valid by the Sahtu Dene and Métis Land Claim Settlement Act. All parcels are included but not all survey plans are recorded in the CLSR at this time.
  • Tlicho lands, as defined in the Tlicho Agreement, given effect and declared valid by the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act.
Indian Lands
Lands that include:
  • Lands in the Kanesatake Mohawk interim land base, as defined in the Kanesatake Interim Land Base Governance Act, other than the lands known as Doncaster Reserve No. 17.

The Aboriginal Lands are created and maintained on a monthly basis by the Surveyor General Branch (SGB). Polygon entities are generated from the cadastral land parcels which form part of the Canada Lands Survey System and updated as new survey plans are recorded in the Canada Lands Survey Records (CLSR).

The purpose of this product is to provide a national coverage and promote the use of a common geometric representation for Aboriginal Lands in Canada. This data set is not to be used for defining boundaries. Administrative decisions should be based on legal documents and legal survey plans.

Download the Aboriginal Lands Fact Sheet [pdf 1.17 MB]


Aboriginal Lands Data Product

  • Aboriginal Lands, Data Product Specifications, Edition 1.1 [pdf 156 KB]
  • Aboriginal Lands, Conceptual Data Model, Edition 1.0.1 [pdf 37 KB]
  • Aboriginal Lands, Feature Catalogue, Edition 1.1 [pdf 88 KB]
  • Aboriginal Lands, Product Distribution Formats, Edition 1.1.1 [pdf 89 KB]

National Vector Data

  • National Vector Data, Identification Rules, Edition 2.0 [pdf 63 KB]
  • National Vector Data, Change Management, Edition 3.0 [pdf 92 KB]


For a complete description of collection metadata, see the Aboriginal Lands, Collection Metadata.

Use and Restrictions

Use of the GeoBase data is subject to the Open Government Licence – Canada.

Data Format

Aboriginal Lands datafiles are available in GML (Geography Markup Language), ESRI Shapefile and KML (Keyhole Markup Language) formats.

Free Data Viewer

As a service to GeoBase users we are providing links to some free viewers. However, GeoBase does not endorse and does not provide any kind of support for any of these viewers.