Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

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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 Indigenous and Northern Affairs
Government of Canada signature.svg
Carolyn Bennett at podium-Crop.jpg
Incumbent
Carolyn Bennett

since November 4, 2015
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 Hector Louis Langevin
Formation 1966
Website www.ainc-inac.gc.ca
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This article is part of a series on the
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Government

The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs 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. They also are 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] Following the establishment of the 29th Canadian Ministry the working title was changed to Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

History[edit]

Prior to Canadian confederation in 1867, the Indian Department for British North America was responsible for relations between The Crown and indigenous peoples.

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:

Cabinet ministers[edit]

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs
  1. Hector Louis Langevin May 22, 1868 December 7, 1869 Conservative 1 (Macdonald)
  2. Joseph Howe December 8, 1869 May 6, 1873 Liberal-Conservative
  * James Cox Aikins (acting) May 7, 1873 June 13, 1873
  3. Thomas Nicholson Gibbs June 14, 1873 June 30, 1873
  4. Alexander Campbell July 1, 1873 November 5, 1873 Conservative
  5. David Laird November 7, 1873 October 6, 1876 Liberal 2 (Mackenzie)
  * Richard William Scott (acting) October 7, 1876 October 23, 1876
  6. David Mills October 24, 1876 October 8, 1878
  7. Sir John A. Macdonald October 17, 1878 October 2, 1887 Liberal-Conservative 3 (Macdonald)
  8. Thomas White October 3, 1887 April 21, 1888 Conservative
  * Sir John A. Macdonald (acting) May 8, 1888 September 24, 1888 Liberal-Conservative
  9. Edgar Dewdney September 25, 1888 June 6, 1891 Conservative
  June 16, 1891 October 16, 1892 4 (Abbott)
  10. Thomas Mayne Daly October 17, 1892 November 24, 1892 Liberal-Conservative
  December 5, 1892 December 12, 1894 5 (Thompson)
  December 21, 1894 April 27, 1896 6 (Bowell)
  11. Hugh John Macdonald May 1, 1896 July 8, 1896 Conservative 7 (Tupper)
  12. Richard William Scott (acting) July 17, 1896 November 16, 1896 Liberal 8 (Laurier)
  13. Clifford Sifton November 17, 1896 February 28, 1905
  14. Sir Wilfrid Laurier (acting) March 13, 1905 April 7, 1905
  15. Frank Oliver April 8, 1905 October 6, 1911
  16. Robert Rogers October 10, 1911 October 28, 1912 Conservative 9 (Borden)
  17. William James Roche October 29, 1912 October 12, 1917
  18. Arthur Meighen October 12, 1917 July 10, 1920 Unionist 10 (Borden)
  19. Sir James Alexander Lougheed July 10, 1920 December 29, 1921 Liberal-Conservative 11 (Meighen)
  20. Charles Stewart December 29, 1921 June 28, 1926 Liberal 12 (Mackenzie King)
  21. Henry Herbert Stevens (acting) June 29, 1926 July 12, 1926 Conservative 13 (Meighen)
  22. Richard Bedford Bennett (acting) July 13, 1926 September 25, 1926
  23. Charles Stewart September 26, 1926 June 26, 1930 Liberal 14 (Mackenzie King)
  24. Ian Alistair Mackenzie June 27, 1930 August 7, 1930
  25. Thomas Gerow Murphy August 7, 1930 October 23, 1935 Conservative 15 (Bennett)
  26. Thomas Alexander Crerar October 23, 1935 November 30, 1936 Liberal 16 (Mackenzie King)
Minister responsible for Indian Affairs (Minister of the Interior, Minister of Mines)
  27. Thomas Alexander Crerar December 1, 1936 April 17, 1945 Liberal 16 (Mackenzie King)
  28. James Allison Glen April 18, 1945 June 10, 1948
  29. James Angus MacKinnon June 10, 1948 November 15, 1948
  November 15, 1948 March 31, 1949 17 (St. Laurent)
  30. Colin William George Gibson April 1, 1949 January 17, 1950
Minister responsible for Indian Affairs (Minister of Citizenship)
  31. Walter Harris January 18, 1950 June 30, 1954 Liberal 17 (St. Laurent)
  32. Jack Pickersgill July 1, 1954 June 21, 1957
  * E. Davie Fulton (Acting) June 21, 1957 May 11, 1958 Progressive Conservative 18 (Diefenbaker)
  33. Ellen Fairclough May 12, 1958 August 8, 1962
  34. Dick Bell August 9, 1962 April 22, 1963
  35. Guy Favreau April 22, 1963 February 2, 1964 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
 36. René Tremblay February 3, 1964 February 14, 1965
  37. John Robert Nicholson February 15, 1965 December 17, 1965
  38. Jean Marchand December 18, 1965 September 30, 1966
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
  39. Arthur Laing October 1, 1966 April 20, 1968 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
  April 20, 1968 July 5, 1968 20 (P. E. Trudeau)
  40. Jean Chrétien July 5, 1968 August 7, 1974
  41. J. Judd Buchanan August 8, 1974 September 13, 1976
  42. Warren Allmand September 14, 1976 September 15, 1977
  43. James Hugh Faulkner September 16, 1977 June 3, 1979
  44. Jake Epp June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
  45. John Munro March 3, 1980 June 29, 1984 Liberal 22 (P. E. Trudeau)
  46. Doug Frith June 30, 1984 September 16, 1984 23 (Turner)
  47. David Crombie September 17, 1984 June 29, 1986 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
  48. Bill McKnight June 30, 1986 January 29, 1989
  49. Pierre Cadieux January 30, 1989 February 22, 1990
  50. Tom Siddon February 23, 1990 June 24, 1993
  51. Pauline Browes June 25, 1993 November 3, 1993 25 (Campbell)
  52. Ron Irwin November 4, 1993 June 10, 1997 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
  53. Jane Stewart June 11, 1997 August 2, 1999
  54. Bob Nault August 3, 1999 December 11, 2003
  55. Andy Mitchell December 12, 2003 July 19, 2004 27 (Martin)
  56. Andy Scott July 20, 2004 February 5, 2006
  57. Jim Prentice February 6, 2006 August 14, 2007 Conservative 28 (Harper)
  58. Chuck Strahl August 14, 2007 August 6, 2010
  59. John Morris Duncan August 6, 2010 May 17, 2011
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
  John Morris Duncan May 18, 2011 February 15, 2013 Conservative 28 (Harper)
  * James Moore, Acting Minister February 15, 2013 February 22, 2013
  60. Bernard Valcourt February 22, 2013 November 3, 2015
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
  61. Carolyn Bennett at podium-Crop.jpg Carolyn Bennett November 4, 2015 Present Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau)

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).

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]