September 1, 2017
On Monday, August 28, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the dissolution of INAC with the creation of two new departments; the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Department of Indigenous Services.
Carolyn Bennett will now serve as the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and former Health Minister Jane Philpott will become Minister of Indigenous Services.
A statement on Prime Minister Trudeau’s website details the ministerial changes:
“The new Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs will guide the Government’s forward-looking and transformative work to create a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples…The Minister will also be tasked with better whole-of-government coordination on our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships. The new Minister of Indigenous Services will continue the important work of improving the quality of services delivered to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.”
In a personal message to INAC employees, Trudeau explains that, “We need to shed the administrative structures and legislation that were conceived in another time for a different kind of relationship.”
The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) is optimistic about the changes as they are modelled on recommendations from the 1996 Royal Commission on Indigenous Peoples which included a chapter on the Métis. It is also important to note that while this recent announcement is a positive start, much more work is needed to build a successful nation-to-nation, government-to-government relationship between the Métis and the Canadian Government.
Click here to read Prime Minister Trudeau’s full statement.