Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Infobox Canadian government departments
department=Indian and Northern Affairs
french=Affaires indiennes et du Nord
logo=INAC Logo.jpg
current_minister=Chuck Strahl
responsibilities=First Nations


Northwest Territories

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (FIP: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, French: "Affaires indiennes et du Nord Canada", "DIAND") is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for policies relating to First Nations of Canada and Canada's three northern territories. The term "Indian" as referenced in the department's name refers to Status Indians defined by the Indian Act. The department is also responsible for the Inuit and Métis of Canada. The department is overseen by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, currently Chuck Strahl.


The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs has its origins in the Department of the Interior, a body created by John A. Macdonald for the purpose of administering the Dominion Lands Act of 1872. When the Department of the Interior dissolved in 1936 (with the Natural Resources Transfer Acts returning sovereignty over their own natural resources to the Prairie provinces), Indian Affairs fell under the purview of the Department of Mines and Resources. However, the need for social and health-care services in the North led to the establishment of the Northern Administration and Lands branch in 1951, which led to the creation of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources in 1953. This became the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1966, which remains the department's legal name today. Under the Federal Identity Program, the department is known as Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Annual Arctic expeditions

Beginning in the early 20th century, the Canadian government sponsored annual expeditions to the Northern territories. These expeditions yielded extensive photographic documentation of the lives of Northern indigenous peoples by participating explorers, engineers, scientists and medical staff.

Explorer, photographer, filmmaker, writer and lecturer Richard S. Finnie accompanied numerous expeditions to the North. His first voyage was aboard CGS "Arctic", under the command of Captain Bernier in 1924. During the 1930–1931 expedition to the Western Arctic, Finnie served as filmmaker. Lachlan T. Burwash, an exploratory engineer with the Department of the Interior, made a survey of the east coasts of Hudson Bay and James Bay, and the Belcher Islands in the late 1920s. Zoologist Joseph Dewey Soper travelled to the Baffin Island (Qikiqtaaluk) region in the late 1920s in order to document the landscape, as well as the plant and bird life. J.G. Wright, Superintendent of Eastern Arctic Patrol and National Film Board photographer, served on the 1945–1946 expedition sponsored by the Canadian Institute for the Blind. As the Regional Director of Family Allowances for the Yukon and Northwest Territories, S.J. Bailey served as part of the Eastern Arctic Patrol beginning in the late 1940s.

"The Nunavut Project"

With respect to the Inuit of Nunavut, the department and its Minister have the challenge of implementing "The Nunavut Project." Authored by Thomas Berger, this is a report of recommendations to increase Inuit participation in Nunavut's federal and territorial public service.

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is The Honourable Chuck Strahl.

ee also

* Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada)
* First Nations
* Inuit


* [ Project Naming] , the identification of Inuit portrayed in photographic collections at Library and Archives Canada

External links

* [ Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Official Website]
* [ The Nunavut Project]

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