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The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs is one of two Ministers of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet responsible for overseeing the federal government department Indigenous and Northern Affairs 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.

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 Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development.[2] Following the establishment of the 29th Canadian Ministry on November 4, 2015 the working title was again changed to Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The current title was introduced after a Cabinet shuffle in the 29th Ministry on August 28, 2017 in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will be abolished in the coming months. This shuffle also created the separate position of Minister of Indigenous Services.[3]

History

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.[4]

Before 1966 the Northern Development portions of the portfolio were the responsibility of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.[5]

Until amendments to the Indian Act in 1985 restored Indian status to many people whose status had been revoked for discriminatory reasons, about half of the persons claiming to be Indians were entitled to be registered as Indians under the Indian Act and to receive the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

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 in 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

Acts

The Minister has responsibilities, wholly or partially, under a number of Acts:[6](list may not be complete)

Boards, Commissions and Other Responsibilities

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

Cabinet ministers

No. Portrait Name Term of office Political party Ministry
Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs
1 HectorLangevin23.jpg Hector Louis Langevin May 22, 1868 December 7, 1869 Conservative 1 (Macdonald)
2 Joehowe.JPG Joseph Howe December 8, 1869 May 6, 1873 Liberal-Conservative
James Cox Aikins.jpg James Cox Aikins (acting) May 7, 1873 June 13, 1873
3 ThomasNicholsonGibbs23.jpg Thomas Nicholson Gibbs June 14, 1873 June 30, 1873
4 Sir Alexander Campbell.jpg Alexander Campbell July 1, 1873 November 5, 1873 Conservative
5 Davidlaird.png David Laird November 7, 1873 October 6, 1876 Liberal 2 (Mackenzie)
Sir Richard William Scott.jpg Richard William Scott (acting) October 7, 1876 October 23, 1876
6 David Mills (Canada).jpg David Mills October 24, 1876 October 8, 1878
7 Sir John A Macdonald circa 1878 retouched.jpg Sir John A. Macdonald
1st time
October 17, 1878 October 2, 1887 Liberal-Conservative 3 (Macdonald)
8 Thomas White.jpg Thomas White October 3, 1887 April 21, 1888 Conservative
(7) Sir John A Macdonald circa 1878 retouched.jpg Sir John A. Macdonald (acting)
2nd time
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 ThomasMayneDaly23.jpg 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.jpg Hugh John Macdonald May 1, 1896 July 8, 1896 Conservative 7 (Tupper)
Sir Richard William Scott.jpg Richard William Scott (acting) July 17, 1896 November 16, 1896 Liberal 8 (Laurier)
12 Clifford Sifton.jpg Clifford Sifton November 17, 1896 February 28, 1905
Sir Wilfrid Laurier - Bain.jpg Sir Wilfrid Laurier (acting) March 13, 1905 April 7, 1905
13 Frank Oliver2.jpg Frank Oliver April 8, 1905 October 6, 1911
14 Robert Rogers.jpg Robert Rogers October 10, 1911 October 28, 1912 Conservative 9 (Borden)
15 William James Roche.jpg William James Roche October 29, 1912 October 12, 1917
16 Former PM Arthur Meighen.jpg Arthur Meighen October 12, 1917 July 10, 1920 Unionist 10 (Borden)
17 James Alexander Lougheed.jpg Sir James Alexander Lougheed July 10, 1920 December 29, 1921 Liberal-Conservative 11 (Meighen)
18 Charles Stewart2.jpg Charles Stewart
1st time
December 29, 1921 June 28, 1926 Liberal 12 (Mackenzie King)
Henry Herbert Stevens.jpg Henry Herbert Stevens (acting) June 29, 1926 July 12, 1926 Conservative 13 (Meighen)
Richard Bedford Bennett.jpg R. B. Bennett (acting) July 13, 1926 September 25, 1926
(18) Charles Stewart2.jpg Charles Stewart
2nd time
September 26, 1926 June 26, 1930 Liberal 14 (Mackenzie King)
19 Ian Alastair Mackenzie.jpg Ian Alistair Mackenzie June 27, 1930 August 7, 1930
20 Thomas Gerow Murphy August 7, 1930 October 23, 1935 Conservative 15 (Bennett)
21 CRERAR.jpg 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)
(21) CRERAR.jpg Thomas Alexander Crerar December 1, 1936 April 17, 1945 Liberal 16 (Mackenzie King)
22 James Allison Glen.jpg James Allison Glen April 18, 1945 June 10, 1948
23 James Angus MacKinnon June 10, 1948 November 15, 1948
November 15, 1948 March 31, 1949 17 (St. Laurent)
24 Colin William George Gibson April 1, 1949 January 17, 1950
Minister responsible for Indian Affairs (Minister of Citizenship)
25 Walter Edward Harris.jpg Walter Edward Harris January 18, 1950 June 30, 1954 Liberal 17 (St. Laurent)
26 Jack Pickersgill July 1, 1954 June 21, 1957
EdmundDavieFulton-1916.jpg Davie Fulton (acting) June 21, 1957 May 11, 1958 Progressive Conservative 18 (Diefenbaker)
27 Ellen Fairclough 1940s.jpg Ellen Fairclough May 12, 1958 August 8, 1962
28 Dick Bell August 9, 1962 April 22, 1963
29 Guy Favreau April 22, 1963 February 2, 1964 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
30 René Tremblay February 3, 1964 February 14, 1965
31 John Robert Nicholson February 15, 1965 December 17, 1965
32 Jean Marchand1.jpg Jean Marchand December 18, 1965 September 30, 1966
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
33 Canadas-Minister-of-Northern-Affairs-visit-to-Sweden-142352846895.jpg Arthur Laing October 1, 1966 April 20, 1968 Liberal 19 (Pearson)
April 20, 1968 July 5, 1968 20 (P. E. Trudeau)
34 Jean Chrétien1.jpg Jean Chrétien July 5, 1968 August 7, 1974
35 J. Judd Buchanan August 8, 1974 September 13, 1976
36 Warren Allmand September 14, 1976 September 15, 1977
37 James Hugh Faulkner September 16, 1977 June 3, 1979
38 Jake Epp June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Progressive Conservative 21 (Clark)
39 John Munro March 3, 1980 June 29, 1984 Liberal 22 (P. E. Trudeau)
40 Doug Frith June 30, 1984 September 16, 1984 23 (Turner)
41 Crombie1983.jpg David Crombie September 17, 1984 June 29, 1986 Progressive Conservative 24 (Mulroney)
42 Bill McKnight.jpg Bill McKnight June 30, 1986 January 29, 1989
43 Pierre Cadieux January 30, 1989 February 22, 1990
44 Tom Siddon February 23, 1990 June 24, 1993
45 MP Browes Rouge.jpg Pauline Browes June 25, 1993 November 3, 1993 25 (Campbell)
46 Ron Irwin November 4, 1993 June 10, 1997 Liberal 26 (Chrétien)
47 Jane Stewart June 11, 1997 August 2, 1999
48 Bob Nault August 3, 1999 December 11, 2003
49 Andy Mitchell December 12, 2003 July 19, 2004 27 (Martin)
50 Andy Scott July 20, 2004 February 5, 2006
51 Jim Prentice.jpg Jim Prentice February 6, 2006 August 14, 2007 Conservative 28 (Harper)
52 Chuck Strahl 2014.jpg Chuck Strahl August 14, 2007 August 6, 2010
53 John Duncan August 6, 2010 May 17, 2011
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
(53) John Duncan May 18, 2011 February 15, 2013 Conservative 28 (Harper)
James Moore 2014.jpg James Moore, (acting) February 15, 2013 February 22, 2013
54 Bernard Valcourt February 22, 2013 November 3, 2015
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
55 Carolyn Bennett at podium-Crop.jpg Carolyn Bennett November 4, 2015 August 28, 2017 Liberal 29 (J. Trudeau)
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
(55) Carolyn Bennett at podium-Crop.jpg Carolyn Bennett August 28, 2017 Incumbent 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

References

External links