|The Specific Claims Resolution Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 7 November 2003. The Act is a response to the push for a revised specific claims process that provides effective dispute resolution, with litigation as a final resort. In 1986, in an effort to address dissatisfaction with the specific claims process, Aboriginal organisations entered into a Joint Task Force (JTF) with Canada to renew the process. The JTF ultimately called for the creation of an independent claims body to mediate disputes arising during the negotiation process. Based on this recommendation, a federal model for an independent claims body was developed. The Act is to establish the Canadian Centre for the Independent Resolution of First Nations Specific Claims. The Centre is to be composed of a Chief Executive Officer and two divisions — a Commission to facilitate negotiations, and a Tribunal to resolve disputes. The Centre will replace the present Indian Claims Commission.
The Act consists of 88 clauses, divided into five parts, and a Schedule. In addition to setting out the roles and responsibilities of the Commission and the Tribunal, it is designed to clarify the definition of a specific claim and to translate policy language into legislative terms. It is also intended to reflect the progress of case law since 1973 when the Comprehensive Land Claims and Specific Claims Policies were originally articulated. The Act awaits official proclamation before it can enter into force.