Justin Trudeau splits INAC into two departments

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A move to self-government and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples

On August 28th, Justin Trudeau announced the split of the department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada into two new ministries: the Department of Crown –Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Department of Indigenous Services. According to an article published on the Prime Mister of Canada’s site, “over twenty years ago, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples acknowledged that a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples would require new structure. It recommended that we dramatically improve the delivery of services while accelerating a move to self-government and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. One mechanism to achieve this was the dissolution of INAC and the creation of two new ministries to facilitate this work.”

Carolyn Bennett, previously Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, is now appointed as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. The Minister will be responsible for guiding the Government towards a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples, with “a key part of the Minister’s mandate…to lead a consultation process to determine how best to replace INAC with the two new departments.”

Jane Philpott, formerly Minister of Health, has been appointed as Minister of Indigenous Services. Philpott will be responsible for work aimed at improving quality of services provided to First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, with an important measure of success being that “appropriate programs and services will be increasingly delivered, not by the Government of Canada, but instead by Indigenous Peoples as they move to self-government.”

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