Reserve

A reserve is the land that is set aside by the Crown for the use and benefit of a band in Canada. Many First Nations now prefer the term First Nation community and no longer use reserve.

Only capitalize reserve when used as part of a name, otherwise it should remain lowercase.

on-reserve/off-reserve: These terms are modifiers to qualify people or things that are or are not part of a reserve. Avoid moving the on-reserve/off-reserve modifier after the noun and removing the hyphen.

X The government has announced a new approach to housing on reserve.
X Businesses on reserve are eligible for the new training program.

Readers may have trouble interpreting these sentences. They are either grammatically incorrect or suggest that businesses and housing have been set aside for future use (i.e., they are in reserve).

√The government has announced a new approach to on-reserve housing.
√ On-reserve businesses are eligible for the new training program. √Businesses located on reserves are eligible for the new training program.

Another common usage is people who live on reserve and people who live off reserve.

X Students who live on reserve are eligible for the summer employment program.
X It can be a welcome place for First Nations people who live off reserve.

√ Students living on a reserve are eligible for the summer employment program.
√It can be a welcome place for First Nations people living off-reserve.

on-reserve/off-reserve – These terms are modifiers to qualify people or things that are or are not part of a reserve.