What is the difference between a Reserve and a Reservation?

Reserves are only in Canada and reservations are only in the United States.

Reserves and Reservations are quite different.

In Canada there can be dozens of reserves within treaty boundaries while in the United States reservations generally cover the entire treaty area.

According to the Department’s Indian Land Registry System, the current surface area of all reserve land in Canada is approximately 8,866,668 acres. Canada has a total acreage of approximately 2,467,265,689 acres.

As of 2017, only 0.36% of Canada’s land mass has currently been set aside as reserve status. This number has increased due to ongoing settlement of Specific Claims called Treaty Land Entitlements. Many First Nations had a shortfall when the Reserves were first surveyed and the outstanding Treaty land debt is known as Treaty Land Entitlement.

The combined landmass of the ALL First Nation reserves in Canada is smaller than the landmass of the Navaho Reservation in the United States. The Navaho Reservation has a land mass of 17,544,480 acres; 2 times the area of ALL Canadian Reserves combined.

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