Government of Canada moving forward with departmental changes needed to renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples

News Release

December 4, 2017         Ottawa, ON        Government of Canada

As part of the journey towards Reconciliation, the Government of Canada has taken an important step to renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, by announcing a profound shift in the way the Government delivers services and advances self-determination and self-government of Indigenous peoples.

The Government of Canada is proud to announce the creation of the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC). At the same time, under the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, consultations are continuing on the final form that both departments will take, including how best to increase the government's capacity to function on a distinctions basis, ensure we implement the spirit and intent of existing and future agreements with Indigenous peoples, and identify those services across the Government of Canada that are best delivered by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada.

Further, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada’s first Minister of Indigenous Services, will lead DISC’s efforts to start to bring a holistic approach to delivering the social, healthcare, and infrastructure services essential to healthy children, individuals, families and communities. The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) has been formally transferred from Health Canada to the new Department of Indigenous Services Canada.

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, as Canada’s first Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, will lead her department’s efforts to accelerate the work already begun to renew the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. The Prime Minister has also tasked her with modernizing institutional structures and governance so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples can build capacity that supports implementation of their vision of self-determination.

Quotes

“Today marks an important milestone in Canada’s journey towards reconciliation and the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. I am continuing to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners on the final form of the two new departments. We are tearing down the outdated and paternalistic structure of old designed to enforce the Indian Act and replacing it with new departments that are distinctions-based and rooted in the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

“The creation of the Department of Indigenous Services Canada is an important development in our renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. These structural changes will allow our government to work more effectively with Indigenous partners to provide services that improve people’s day-to-day quality of life. Our work will be based on recognition and respect for the right to self-determination.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

Quick Facts

  • One fundamental measure of success will be that appropriate programs and services are increasingly delivered, not by the Government of Canada but instead by Indigenous peoples as they move to self-government.

  • All funding and contractual arrangements with both departments remain active. The delivery of services will continue as usual.

Associated Links

Contacts

Sabrina Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
613-697-8316

Andrew MacKendrick
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
819-956-5372

Media Relations
Department of Indigenous Services Canada and
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
819-953-1160


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