1. What are surface rights?

Surface rights refer to the rights and/or interests associated with the surface of the land which includes land ownership, lease hold interests, other rights to access or use the surface of land.

2. What are subsurface rights?

Subsurface rights refer to rights associated with resources below the surface of land such as minerals, oil, and gas.

3. Do land owners have subsurface rights to their land?

Not usually. Most private landowners have “fee simple” title to their land which typically does not include the subsurface rights.

4. Does First Nation settlement land include subsurface rights?

First Nations have both surface and subsurface rights on Category A Settlement Lands. On Category B Settlement Lands, they have only the surface rights; the subsurface rights on Category B lands are reserved to the Crown.