Update to Members – Taxation

Over the last several years we have been working to inform Canada and BC on the importance of maintaining tax exemption for our members in treaty. We have not wavered in our commitment to resolve this in a positive way. Since the WKTS Taxation Community Engagement Session, Canada has delivered favourable news on its approach toward Section 87 tax exemption under the Indian Act in the following notification:

On July 19, 2022, the Department of Finance provided WKTS an update on Finance Canada’s revised federal tax policy approach for the application of the tax exemption under s. 87 of the Indian Act in the context of modern treaties and other reconciliation arrangements.

The Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance agreed with the following recommendation made by Department of Finance officials in respect of the s. 87 taxation exemption:

  • The tax exemption will continue on an Indigenous government’s former reserves and on other First Nation reserves in Canada, subject to amendments to s. 87 of the Indian Act, for prospective
    and existing status Indian modern treaty beneficiaries.
  • Indigenous governments have the policy choice to take up direct tax powers on their own time-line, consistent with the commitment to advance the priority of Indigenous communities to reclaim jurisdiction over tax matters.

This decision means that tax exemption will stay in place as long as s. 87 of the Indian Act is in place for First Nations on lands currently reserve lands or have been reserve lands in the past. We are excited to bring this news to the membership and WKTS will continue to provide updates as it learns more about this positive development.


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We would like to express gratitude to Jim and Nancy Henderson and Family, Martina Walkus & Family, Marian Ferry/Atkinson & Family, and the Smith and