Land Back

A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper

The project of land back is about reclaiming Indigenous jurisdiction: breathing life into rights and responsibilities. This Red Paper is about how Canada dispossesses Indigenous peoples from the land, and in turn, what communities are doing to get it back.

Grandma and child on the land


yellow spotted turtle


From Citizens Plus to Land Back: A vision of Indigenous futures that critically engages with Canadian proposals

black bear eating berries
Part One

Spectrum of Consent

How Indigenous consent is ignored, coerced, negotiated, or enforced

caribou in the dark
Part Two


Strategies deployed to dispossess Indigenous people of the land

Girl and the Wolf
Part Three


The limited land rights offered by the Crown and industry

Ice fishing
Part Four


Community strategies of consent-based jurisdiction

boys swimming with dog

Continuation of Life

Why Indigenous jurisdiction matters in the midst of an ongoing climate crisis

From the origins of settler colonialism to the era of reconciliation, land remains at the centre of the conflict between Indigenous peoples and Canadians. So what could a just future look like?

“Land Back,” breaks down the current status of land dispossession in Canada, focusing on alienation through resource extraction. Also, we examine various forms of redress, recognition, and end with examples of reclamation — meaningful Indigenous economies outside of state policies and legislation.

This Red Paper is ultimately about Indigenous consent.


Mining Timelapse Capture

Mine Sweeper Map

A searchable map of mining claims linked to First Nations in Ontario and Quebec.

Julie Flett Bird Image

Tools & Resources

Download tools and resources related to Land Back such as factsheets, overviews, infographics and more. 


Refer to the glossary to find Yellowhead definitions of the key terms used in the Land Back report.

This Red Paper hopes to follow a tradition of agenda-making reports by Indigenous people – like the 1970 original – that contributes to important conversations within and outside our communities.

Land Back

A Yellowhead Institute Red Paper