Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

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The term Indian in this article refers to Aboriginal people of Canada; not to be confused with South Asians from Indian subcontinent
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Incumbent
Bernard Valcourt

since February 22, 2013
Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Style The Honourable
Member of
Appointer Governor General of Canada
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holder John Morris Duncan
Formation 18 May 2011
Website www.ainc-inac.gc.ca
Coat of arms of Canada rendition.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Canada

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (French: Ministre des Affaires autochtones et du développement du Nord canadien) is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet responsible for overseeing the corresponding federal government department (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) and administering the Indian Act and other legislation dealing with "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" under subsection 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. He also is responsible for supervising federal involvement in the territorial governments of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

The Minister's legal title, as set out in the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, remains the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and this title continues in use in statutes and legal documents. However, on May 18, 2011, the Minister adopted the working title "Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development".[1]

History[edit]

A Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs was in the Canadian cabinet from 1867 until 1936 when the Minister of Mines and Resources became responsible for native affairs. In 1950 the Indian Affairs branch was transferred to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who had responsibility for "status Indians" until the creation of the position of Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1966.[2]

Before 1966 the Northern Development portions of the portfolio were the responsibility of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.[3]

Until amendments to the Indian Act in 1985 restored Indian status to many people whose status had been revoked for discriminatory reasons, about half of the persons claiming to be Indians were entitled to be registered as Indians under the Indian Act and to receive the benefits reserved for registered Indians under the Act. The people to whom status was restored were:

  • women who married men who were not Status Indians, and their children
  • people who had, prior to 1961, renounced their Indian status so they could vote in federal elections, and their children
  • people whose mother and paternal grandmother did not have status before marriage (these people lost status at 21), and their children
  • people who had been born out of wedlock of mothers with status and fathers without, and their children.

Over 100,000 people have had their Indian status restored as a result of these changes.

A 1983 Commons Committee recommended that Indian or First Nations communities be allowed to write their own membership code provided that the code did not violate fundamental human rights. A second report from the 1983 Penner Committee recommended the gradual abolition of the office of Minister of Indian Affairs and a transfer of responsibility for their own affairs to First Nations communities. Proposed changes died on the House of Commons order paper and have not been re-introduced.

As of July 2004, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has been assigned the role of Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians concurrently.

Responsibilities[edit]

Acts[edit]

The Minister has responsibilities, wholly or partially, under a number of Acts:[4](list may not be complete)

  • Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act R.S., 1985, c. A-12
  • British Columbia Indian Cut-off Lands Settlement Act — 1984, c. 2
  • British Columbia Indian Reserves Mineral Resources Act — 1943-44, c. 19
  • British Columbia Treaty Commission Act — 1995, c. 45
  • Canada Petroleum Resources Act — R.S., 1985, c. 36 (2nd Supp.)
  • Canada-Yukon Oil and Gas Accord Implementation Act — 1998, c. 5
  • Canadian Polar Commission Act — 1991, c. 6
  • Caughnawaga Indian Reserve Act — 1934, c. 29
  • Claim Settlements (Alberta and Saskatchewan)Implementation Act — 2002, c-3
  • Condominium Ordinance Validation Act— 1985, c. 46
  • Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act — 1984, c. 18
  • Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act — R.S., 1985, c. I-6
  • Dominion Water Power Act, — R.S., 1985, c. W-4
  • First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act — 2005, c. 53
  • First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act — 2006, c. 10
  • First Nations Land Management Act — 1999, c. 24
  • First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act — 2005, c. 48
  • Fort Nelson Indian Reserve Minerals Revenue Sharing Act — 1980-81-82-83, c. 38
  • Grassy Narrows and Islington Indian Bands Mercury Pollution Claims Settlement Act — 1986, c. 23
  • Gwich’in Land Claim Settlement Act — 1992, c. 53
  • Indian Act — R.S., 1985, c. I-5
  • Indian Lands Agreement Act (1986) — 1988, c. 39
  • Indian Oil and Gas Act — R.S., 1985, c. I-7
  • Kanesatake Interim Land Base Governance Act — 2001, c. 8
  • Kelowna Accord Implementation Act 2008, c. 23
  • Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act — 2005, c. 27
  • Lands Surveys Act, Canada — R.S., 1985, c. L-6 Part III
  • Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act — 1998, c. 25
  • Manitoba Claim Settlements Implementation Act — 2000, c. 33
  • Mi’kmaq Education Act — 1998, c. 24
  • Natural Resources Transfer (School Lands) Amendments, (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) (see also School Lands) — 1960-61, c. 62
  • Nelson House First Nation Flooded Land Act — 1997, c. 29
  • New Brunswick Indian Reserves Agreement — 1959, c. 47
  • Northwest Territories Act — R.S., 1985, c. N-27
  • Northwest Territories Waters Act — 1992, c. 39
  • Nova Scotia Indian Reserves Agreement — 1959, c. 50
  • Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act — 2008, c. 2
  • Nunavut Act — 1993, c. 28
  • Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act — 1993, c. 29
  • Nunavut Waters and Nunavut Surface Rights Tribunal Act — 2002, c. 10

Oil and Gas Operations Act, Canada — R.S., 1985, c. O-7 Pictou Landing Indian Band Agreement Act — 1995, c. 4 Sahtu Dene and Metis Land Claim Settlement Act — 1994, c. 27

  • St. Peters Indian Reserve Act — 1916, c. 24
  • St. Regis Islands Act — 1926-27, c. 37
  • Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement Act — 1993, c. 11
  • Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act — 1986, c. 27
  • Songhees Indian Reserve Act — 1911, c. 24
  • Specific Claims Tribunal Act 2008, c. 22
  • Split Lake Cree First Nation Flooded Land Act — 1994, c. 42
  • Territorial Lands Act — R.S., 1985, c. T-7
  • Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act — 2005, c. 1
  • Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement Act — 2008, c. 32
  • Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act — 2004, c. 17
  • Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act — 1984, c. 24
  • York Factory First Nation Flooded Land Act — 1997, c. 28
  • Yukon Act — 2002, c. 7
  • Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act — 2003, c. 7
  • Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act — 1994, c. 35

Boards, Commissions and Other Responsibilities[edit]

The Minister is also the lead Minister or responsible Minister for:

Superintendents-General of Indian Affairs (1878 - 1936)[edit]

1. Hector Louis Langevin Cabinet of Macdonald May 22, 1868 – December 7, 1869
2. Joseph Howe Cabinet of Macdonald December 8, 1869 – May 6, 1873
3. James Cox Aikins (acting) Cabinet of Macdonald May 7, 1873 – June 13, 1873
4. Thomas Nicholson Gibbs Cabinet of Macdonald June 14, 1873 – June 30, 1873
5. Alexander Campbell Cabinet of Macdonald July 1, 1873 – November 5, 1873
6. David Laird Cabinet of Mackenzie November 7, 1873 – October 6, 1876
7. Richard William Scott (acting) Cabinet of Mackenzie October 7, 1876 – October 23, 1876
8. David Mills Cabinet of Mackenzie October 24, 1876 – October 8, 1878
9. Sir John A. Macdonald Cabinet of Macdonald October 17, 1878 – October 2, 1887
10. Thomas White Cabinet of Macdonald October 3, 1887 – April 21, 1888
11. Sir John A. Macdonald (acting) Cabinet of Macdonald May 8, 1888 – September 24, 1888
12. Edgar Dewdney Cabinet of Macdonald September 25, 1888 – June 6, 1891
13. Edgar Dewdney Cabinet of Abbott June 16, 1891 – October 16, 1892
14. Thomas Mayne Daly Cabinet of Abbott October 17, 1892 – November 24, 1892
15. Thomas Mayne Daly Cabinet of Thompson December 5, 1892 – December 12, 1894
16. Thomas Mayne Daly Cabinet of Bowell December 21, 1894 – April 27, 1896
17. Hugh John Macdonald Cabinet of Tupper May 1, 1896 – July 8, 1896
18. Richard William Scott (acting) Cabinet of Laurier July 17, 1896 – November 16, 1896
19. Clifford Sifton Cabinet of Laurier November 17, 1896 – February 28, 1905
20. Sir Wilfrid Laurier (acting) Cabinet of Laurier March 13, 1905 – April 7, 1905
21. Frank Oliver Cabinet of Laurier April 8, 1905 – October 6, 1911
22. Robert Rogers Cabinet of Borden October 10, 1911 – October 28, 1912
23. William James Roche Cabinet of Borden October 29, 1912 – October 12, 1917
24. Arthur Meighen Cabinet of Borden October 12, 1917 – July 10, 1920
25. Sir James Alexander Lougheed Cabinet of Meighen July 10, 1920 – December 29, 1921
26. Charles Stewart Cabinet of King December 29, 1921 – June 28, 1926
27. Henry Herbert Stevens (acting) Cabinet of Meighen June 29, 1926 – July 12, 1926
28. Richard Bedford Bennett (acting) Cabinet of Meighen July 13, 1926 – September 25, 1926
29. Charles Stewart Cabinet of King September 26, 1926 – June 26, 1930
30. Ian Alistair Mackenzie Cabinet of King June 27, 1930 – August 7, 1930
31. Thomas Gerow Murphy Cabinet of Bennett August 7, 1930 – October 23, 1935
32. Thomas Alexander Crerar Cabinet of King October 23, 1935 – November 30, 1936

Ministers responsible for Indian Affairs (Minister of the Interior, Minister of Mines) 1936-1950[edit]

Thomas Alexander Crerar December 1, 1936 - April 17, 1945 under Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King
James Allison Glen April 18, 1945 - June 10, 1948
James Angus MacKinnon June 10, 1948 - November 15, 1948
James Angus MacKinnon November 15, 1948 - March 31, 1949 under Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent
Colin William George Gibson April 1, 1949 - January 17, 1950

Ministers responsible for Indian Affairs (Minister of Citizenship) 1950-1964[edit]

1. Walter Harris January 18, 1950 - June 30, 1954 Cabinet of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent
2. Jack Pickersgill July 1, 1954 - June 21, 1957
* E. Davie Fulton (Acting) June 21, 1957 - May 11, 1958 Cabinet of Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker
3. Ellen Fairclough May 12, 1958 - August 8, 1962
4. Richard Albert Bell August 9, 1962 - April 22, 1963
5. Guy Favreau April 22, 1963 - February 2, 1964 Cabinet of Prime Minister Lester Pearson
6. René Tremblay February 3, 1964 - February 14, 1965
7. John Robert Nicholson February 15, 1965 - December 17, 1965
8. Jean Marchand December 18, 1965 - September 30, 1966

Ministers of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1966 - present)[edit]

1. Arthur Laing October 1, 1966 - April 20, 1968 Cabinet of Prime Minister Lester Pearson
April 20, 1968 - July 5, 1968 Cabinet of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
2. Jean Chrétien July 5, 1968 - August 7, 1974
3. J. Judd Buchanan August 8, 1974 - September 13, 1976
4. Warren Allmand September 14, 1976 - September 15, 1977
5. James Hugh Faulkner September 16, 1977 - June 3, 1979
6. Jake Epp June 4, 1979 - March 2, 1980 Cabinet of Prime Minister Joe Clark
7. John Munro March 3, 1980 - June 29, 1984 Cabinet of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
8. Doug Frith June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984 Cabinet of Prime Minister John Turner
9. David Crombie September 17, 1984 - June 29, 1986 Cabinet of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney
10. Bill McKnight June 30, 1986 - January 29, 1989
11. Pierre Cadieux January 30, 1989 - February 22, 1990
12. Tom Siddon February 23, 1990 - June 24, 1993
13. Pauline Browes June 25, 1993 - November 3, 1993 Cabinet of Prime Minister Kim Campbell
14. Ron Irwin November 4, 1993 - June 10, 1997 Cabinet of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
15. Jane Stewart June 11, 1997 - August 2, 1999
16. Bob Nault August 3, 1999 - December 11, 2003
17. Andy Mitchell December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004 Cabinet of Prime Minister Paul Martin
18. Andy Scott July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006
19. Jim Prentice February 6, 2006 - August 14, 2007 Cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper
20. Chuck Strahl August 14, 2007 - August 6, 2010
21. John Morris Duncan August 6, 2010 – February 15, 2013
22. James Moore, Acting Minister February 15, 2013 - February 22, 2013
23. Bernard Valcourt February 22, 2013 - Present


Prior to 1966, responsibilities for the Indian Affairs portion of this portfolio fell under the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (List), and the Northern Development portion under the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (List).

On May 18, 2011, the Minister adopted the working title "Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development". However, pursuant to section 2 of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act he remains, for legal purposes, the "Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What’s in a name? Indian Affairs is no more", Globe and Mail, May 18, 2011
  2. ^ Departments that have been responsible for Indian Affairs
  3. ^ departments that have been responsible for Northern Affairs
  4. ^ Acts under Minister Responsibilities

External links[edit]