Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada)


Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada)

Infobox minister office
border = federal_canada
minister = not_prime
office = Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
incumbent = Chuck Strahl
appointed_by = Michaëlle Jean
governor = Governor General of Canada
first_minister = Arthur Laing
date = October 1 1966

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development ( _fr. Ministre des Affaires indiennes et du Nord canadien) is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who heads two different departments. The Minister of Indian Affairs is responsible for overseeing the corresponding federal government department (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada), 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. As the Minister of Northern Development he is responsible for supervising federal involvement in the territorial governments of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

There was a Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs 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. Before 1966 the Northern Development portions of the portfolio were the responsibility of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.

Until amendments to the Indian Act in 1985 restored Indian status to many people whose status had been revoked for discriminatory reasons, about half of the persons claiming to be Indians were entitled to be registered as Indians under the Indian Act and to receive the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

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

The Minister is also responsible for:
*Canadian Polar Commission
*Indian Oil and Gas Canada
*Northwest Territories Commissioner
*Nunavut Commissioner
*Yukon Territory Commissioner
*Yukon Territory Water Board
*Northwest Territories Water Board

uperintendents-General of Indian Affairs (1878 - 1936)

Ministers of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1966 - 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).

ee also

*List of Canadian Ministers of Mines and Resources (1936-1950)

External links

* [http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/irp_e.html Individuals Responsible for Aboriginal and Northern Affairs in Canada 1755 to 2006]
* [http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/agr/nu/lca/nlc_e.pdf The Nunavut Project]


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