40th Parliament, 3rd Session
March 3, 2010 -
March 26, 2011
About this Committee
Like other standing committees, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is appointed under the Standing Orders of the House of Commons for the life of a specific Parliament. It was the establishment of the new Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1966 that led to the creation, in 1968, of the first Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In the years that followed, various changes to the Committee’s mandate occurred, until the 35th Parliament (1993-1997) when it was re-established under its current mandate.
The Committee’s mandate includes all areas covered by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, also known as Indian and Northern Affairs Canada or INAC. It can study any aspect of the Department’s management and operation, as well as any legislation, programs or policy areas administered by the Department. Traditionally, the Department has taken responsibility primarily for on-reserve registered First Nations people, Inuit and northern or territorial affairs. In turn, the Committee has primarily considered legislation and issues related to these populations and subjects. The Committee can also examine issues, policies and programs related to off-reserve registered and non-registered First Nations people, Métis, and Inuit. As of 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 main department assigned to the Committee is the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians has also become the Minister’s responsibility. Major agencies reporting to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development whose activities may be of interest to the Committee include:
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency;
- British Columbia Treaty Commission;
- Specific Claims Tribunal;
- Canadian Polar Commission;
- Office of the Treaty Commissioner (Saskatchewan);
- Treaty Relations Commission (Manitoba); and
- Cree-Naskapi Commission.
The mandate of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development also includes reviewing and reporting on matters referred to it by Orders of Reference from the House of Commons relating to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.