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Section I — Overview

Minister’s Message

Over the last year, our department has demonstrated what can be accomplished when we take concrete action to improve the lives of First Nations, Inuit, Mtis and Northerners.

We have seen the real progress that can be made with a clear strategy, strong partnerships and an understanding that healthy, prosperous and self-reliant Aboriginal and Northern communities benefit all of Canada.

That is why we are working with provincial and territorial governments and our First Nations, Inuit, Mtis and Northern partners to ensure we address issues facing Aboriginal and Northern communities in a way that is coherent, practical and measurable.

On one hand, we are working to create stable and accountable governments in First Nations communities, and are taking decisive action to settle outstanding land claims. At the same time, we are ensuring the conditions are in place to guarantee that First Nations people enjoy the same treatment and access to services as all Canadians.

We are working with the private sector to create initiatives to enable Aboriginal people — both on- and off-reserve — to take charge of their own economic development opportunities and to benefit from major resource development projects in or near their communities.

And we are finding ways to develop the tremendous potential of Canada’s North — advancing devolution, supporting Northern science research, and harnessing the North’s vast resources in a way that is environmentally sustainable, and economically and socially beneficial for Northerners.

Together, these efforts reflect our shared priorities with our partners and form the basis of our collaborative strategy. They converge to improve social conditions and encourage economic growth — creating a more promising future for First Nations, Inuit, Mtis and Northerners, and in turn for all Canadians.

On behalf of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Canadian Polar Commission and the Indian Specific Claims Commission, I am pleased to present the 2006–2007 Departmental Performance Report.

The Honourable Chuck Strahl, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
and Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians

Management Representation Statement

I submit, for tabling in Parliament, the 2006–2007 Departmental Performance Report for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canadian Polar Commission and the Indian Specific Claims Commission.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide for the Preparation of Part III of the 2006–2007 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidance;
  • It is based on the department’s approved Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture that were approved by the Treasury Board;
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced and reliable information;
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it; and
  • It reports finances based on approved numbers from the Estimates and the Public Accounts of Canada.

Michael Wernick
Deputy Minister, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

The 2006–2007 Departmental Performance Report (DPR) describes performance in relation to priorities and commitments in the 2006–2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP). The 2006–2007 RPP was based on the Program Activity Architecture (PAA), which shows how the department’s program activities align to its strategic outcomes.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Program Activity Architecture

Click on image to enlarge

Summary Information

Raison d’tre

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) holds primary, but not exclusive, responsibility for two separate yet complementary mandates: Indian and Inuit Affairs and Northern Development. The department is responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Mtis and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North in collaboration with: several other federal departments; First Nations, Inuit and Mtis leaders; provincial and territorial governments; circumpolar governments; and service delivery agents, as well as with the private sector and non-governmental organizations. These broad mandates are derived largely from the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, the Indian Act, territorial acts and legal obligations arising from section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, as well as the more than 50 statutes for which the department has administrative responsibilities.

The department’s mission, in fulfilling these complex mandates, is to support First Nations and Inuit — and in Canada’s North, all Northerners, including First Nations, Inuit and Mtis — in achieving their social and economic aspirations; in developing healthy, sustainable communities; and in more fully participating in and benefiting from Canada’s political, social and economic development.

Under the Indian and Inuit Affairs mandate, the department:

  • Negotiates comprehensive and specific land claims and self-government agreements on behalf of the federal government and oversees implementation of settlements that promote social and economic development.
  • Using various funding mechanisms, the department funds First Nations governments and institutions, and Inuit organizations and communities to promote access to a range of services reasonably comparable with those accessible to other Canadians. Of the funding provided by the department, over 85 percent is used to provide programming on-reserve, which is directly administered by First Nations[1].
  • Furthermore, INAC manages lands under the Indian Act in a manner that addresses the Crown’s interest in protecting, conserving and managing lands, resources and the environment, consistent with both the principles of sustainable development and First Nations’ aspirations to control their lands and resources. It supports First Nations governance and is responsible for individual affairs through the Indian Registrar.

Under the Northern Development mandate, the department:

  • Is primarily responsible for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North, a region that comprises 40 percent of Canada’s land mass.
  • Is one of the main departments responsible for implementing Canada’s circumpolar agenda.
  • Ensures effective stewardship of lands and resources in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (prior to the conclusion of devolution agreements), and for fostering political and economic development of all three territories.
  • Has specific duties related to environmental protection and assessment, management of offshore oil and gas resources, and the co-ordination of scientific research in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

In addition to duties related to the department, the INAC Minister is the Minister responsible for:

  • the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians; and
  • the Canadian Polar Commission.

Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor works with Mtis, non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal organizations, as well as provincial governments where appropriate, to help further the efforts of Mtis, non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal people to help them realize their full potential economically, socially and politically in Canadian society. The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians works closely with provinces, national Aboriginal organizations, federal departments and organizations toward achieving an overall coherence in the services available to off-reserve Aboriginal Canadians.

Canadian Polar Commission

As Canada’s lead agency in the area of polar research, the Canadian Polar Commission is responsible for monitoring, promoting and disseminating knowledge of the polar regions. The Commission contributes to public awareness of the importance of polar science to Canada, enhances Canada’s international profile as a circumpolar nation and recommends polar science policy direction to government.

Indian Specific Claims Commission

The mission of the Indian Specific Claims Commission (ISCC) is to assist First Nations and the Government of Canada to settle specific claims. The ISCC is a commission of inquiry established in 1991. Its mandate is: to inquire, at the request of a First Nation, into specific claims that have been rejected by the federal government or accepted claims where the First Nation disputes the compensation criteria being considered; and to provide mediation services on consent of the parties at any stage of the claims process.

Financial Resources (2006–2007)


($ millions) Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 6,453.4 6,594.7 6,131.1
Canadian Polar Commission 1.0 1.0 1.0
Indian Specific Claims Commission 5.6 6.8 6.5

The variance of approximately $322 million between actual spending and planned spending primarily reflects funding from Budget 2006 and for the negotiation, settlement and implementation of specific and comprehensive claims which was not expended in 2006–2007 and which was therefore reprofiled to 2007–2008.

Human Resources (2006–2007)


(FTEs) Planned Actual Difference
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 4,276.4 4,062.6 (213.8)
Canadian Polar Commission 5 5 0
Indian Specific Claims Commission 49 45 (4)

Operating Environment and Context

INAC is responsible for a complex portfolio of Aboriginal and northern responsibilities that has been shaped by centuries of history, unique demographic and geographic challenges, evolving jurisprudence, and increasingly sophisticated policy and legislative agendas. Perhaps no other department is responsible for such a wide range of issues, programs and services or is engaged with so many different partners.

Many factors influence the department’s ability to achieve its desired strategic outcomes, including global and national economic trends; changes in social policy at national and provincial levels; court decisions; environmental impacts; First Nations, Inuit and Mtis priorities; and federal, provincial and territorial relations, priorities and pressures. No single group has direct control over these variables. Jurisdictional considerations, statutory and fiduciary obligations, the special relationship between the federal government and Aboriginal people, and the aspirations and priorities of First Nations, Inuit, Mtis and northern residents are all considerations. It is clear that the success achieved toward long-term outcomes has required sustained and joint commitment from a broad range of institutions and organizations, and will continue to do so in the future.

Context

In presenting the context of INAC’s overall performance, it is useful to note several recent changes to its internal structure, as well as external factors that affect progress toward INAC’s mission.

Internal factors

Within INAC, some restructuring took place in 2006–2007 that has added to its responsibilities.

On April 1, 2006, the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat was transferred from the Privy Council Office to INAC. The Secretariat provides a co-ordination role for Aboriginal policies and programs across government. With this transfer, INAC assumed an enhanced leadership role in terms of managing the overall direction of the government’s Aboriginal agenda.

On December 1, 2006, responsibility for Aboriginal Business Canada and the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEDB) were transferred from Industry Canada to INAC. Consolidating these programs and expertise within INAC’s broader economic development activities such as Small Business Development, Economic and Financial Institutions, Community Investment Strategies, Major Project Participation and Access to Investment Capital will let us build on and strengthen such programming, and use federal resources more strategically and enable First Nations to participate more meaningfully in the economy. It will open up opportunities to expand jobs and incomes for all Aboriginal people, whether on or off reserve, in rural and remote settings. An updated Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy is currently under development, based on an analysis of approximately 120 studies completed after the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and consultations with key stakeholders.

External factors

In 2006–2007, a range of external factors — including demographic changes, litigation, governance capacity and geographic conditions — continued to present challenges and opportunities for departmental performance and the delivery of programs and services.

Demographic changes

Aboriginal demographics continue to be one of the most important factors shaping the context for programs and services. The Aboriginal population is young and is growing more than two times faster than the overall Canadian population. These Aboriginal demographics create pressure for more schools, housing and public infrastructure, and for increases in social services to support the high rate of young family formations. As well, the age structure of the Aboriginal population presents opportunities for the Canadian workforce, regional economies and overall competitiveness, particularly in the Prairie provinces, the territories and urban centres that have high concentrations of Aboriginal youth. If properly supported with education and skills training, the growing population of young Aboriginal people presents an ideal pool of talent from which employers can draw and by which the overall Canadian economy can flourish.

Disparities in social and economic conditions between Aboriginal people and other Canadians are a serious challenge in terms of the performance of programs and services. Aboriginal people have lower levels of education, poorer health and higher rates of unemployment. They also experience higher levels of violence, particularly Aboriginal women. Many reserves have insufficient and inadequate housing and unsafe drinking water.

Furthermore, high mobility rates among Aboriginal people to and from reserves and surrounding communities, as well as within urban centres, creates challenges for program delivery mechanisms in terms of reaching those in need and in measuring performance. Providing services of a consistently high standard to a highly mobile population remains a major challenge for INAC.

Litigation

On the legal landscape, litigation is generating court rulings at every level within the judicial system, which are further refining Aboriginal and treaty rights as recognized by Canada’s Constitution. These court rulings continue to influence the direction and timing of some initiatives in the government’s Aboriginal agenda. Specifically, recent decisions, such as Chicot and Dene Tha’, are further clarifying what activities trigger the Crown’s legal duty to consult in relation to Aboriginal and treaty rights and how the Crown is expected to discharge this legal duty.

Governance capacity

INAC works toward governance and political development within First Nations communities, including the implementation of constitutionally protected self-government agreements, and the devolution of program responsibilities from the federal government to the northern territories.

It is important to note that the department works in partnership with First Nations that have a very broad range — or continuum — of capacities. At one end of the continuum are self-governing First Nations. At the other end are communities that require direct assistance to strengthen their governance capacity.

Similarly, the government’s relationship with Canada’s Inuit and Mtis peoples needs to reflect their particular interests and priorities. They often have distinct affairs that require specific approaches. Overall, the great diversity between and among Aboriginal groups requires the government to engage with a range of Aboriginal governments and national and regional Aboriginal representative organizations.

The overall agenda for the North is to complete the devolution of all province-like responsibilities to northern governments at a pace set by Northerners, so that all Northerners increasingly manage their own political, resource, economic and social affairs. Each territory is at a different stage of evolution as onshore lands and resources transfers are complete in the Yukon, while they are being negotiated in the Northwest Territories and are at exploratory stages in Nunavut. The challenge is to manage the North’s natural resources and to support the political and economic evolution of the territories in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and Northerners in a manner that facilitates development of strong northern governments, economies, communities and peoples.

Geographic conditions

Geographic and demographic conditions in Canada’s North pose unique challenges for the delivery of programs and services — remoteness of communities, a severe climate and a sensitive environment. Gaps in infrastructure (e.g., connectivity, roads and ports), science and technology, and skills and capacities among governments, communities and individuals pose challenges for the sustainable economic growth of each territory. Many isolated First Nations communities south of 60 present similar challenges for program delivery.

At the same time, there is incredible opportunity. Canada’s North holds world-class mineral, oil and gas deposits, which promise substantial long-term growth for the regional economy and a significant revenue stream for governments. The resource base under the control of First Nations communities is increasingly valuable in terms of the renewable and non-renewable resources available for development by the communities themselves. Resource development opportunities are significant and strategically important to Canada. There is great potential to make the North a major contributor to Canada’s future prosperity while supporting sustainable development.

In summary, the achievement of INAC’s strategic outcomes will continue to require an ongoing assessment of how the organization needs to evolve to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities, particularly as the expanding capacity of Aboriginal peoples and governments allows them to take greater control of their social, economic and political aspirations. The 2006–2007 fiscal year saw INAC continue to work with key partners, clients and stakeholders to deliver programs and services, and to achieve its overall mission of improved quality of life for Aboriginal people and Northerners. The information and data collected will bring improvements to program, policy and service design and delivery, and help determine priorities in the years ahead.


Demographic Profile of Aboriginal Canada

  • The Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes three distinct groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (more commonly referred to as First Nations, are further broken down administratively into Status/Registered Indians and non-Status Indians), Inuit, and Mtis. These distinctions affect who has access to federally funded programs and services. For example, Post Secondary Education programming is provided to Status Indians and Inuit regardless of residency, while Child and Family Services are provided only to Status Indians living on-reserve.
  • According to the 2001 Census, 976,310 people reported Aboriginal identity, amounting to 3.3 percent of the total Canadian population. Of the total Aboriginal (identity) population in 2001, 62.4 percent reported that they were North American Indian, 29.9 percent reported that they were Mtis, and 4.6 percent reported that they were Inuit[2].
  • The total Aboriginal population is growing at a rate of approximately 1.8 percent per year which is more then two times the overall Canadian growth rate. The Aboriginal population is young with a median age of 27 compared with a median age of 40 for all Canadians. About 49 percent of the Aboriginal population is under 25 years of age.
  • The on-reserve Registered Indian population as well as the Inuit population are growing even faster with average annual growth rates of about 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. About 40 percent of the Registered Indian population is under the age of 20, compared with 24 percent of the overall Canadian population.
  • In total, there are currently 615 First Nations communities, comprising more than 50 nations or cultural groups and more than 50 languages. About 59 percent of First Nations communities have fewer than 500 residents — only about eight percent have more than 2,000.
  • Overall, 35 percent of on-reserve Registered Indians live in urban areas, while 45 percent live in rural areas, 17 percent in special-access areas and 4 percent in remote zones.
  • In 2007, Registered Indians living on reserve are estimated to represent about 57 percent of the total Registered Indian population. There are about 460,300 on-reserve Registered Indians and about 345,400 who reside off-reserve.
  • The on-reserve Registered Indian population is expected to increase by about 50 percent between 2007 and 2029, compared with about 18 percent for the Canadian population as a whole over the same time period.
  • The Aboriginal population of selected Census Metropolitan Area’s (CMA) in Canada are as follows for 2001; Winnipeg: 55,760; Edmonton: 40,930; Vancouver: 36,855; Calgary: 21,910; Toronto: 20,300; Regina: 15,685; Ottawa–Hull: 13,485; and Montreal: 11,085.
  • In 2001, the majority of Inuit (81.2 percent) resided in the four Inuit Land Claim Regions[3] while only 7.3 percent resided in CMA’s. Of the population in CMA’s, the majority were in Edmonton, Ottawa–Hull, Montreal and Toronto.
  • Of the total Mtis population in 2001, the majority (68.5 percent) resided in urban areas[4]. Further, the CMA’s with the largest population of Mtis were Winnipeg (31,390) and Edmonton (21,065).

Sources include: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada; INAC, Indian Register; INAC, Registered Indian Population Projection Series 2004–29; Statistics Canada. 2005–56 Population Projection Series.


Profile of the North

  • Canada’s North occupies 40 percent of Canada’s land mass.
  • There are few reserves in the North; in general, territorial governments are responsible for providing programs and services to all Northerners, including Aboriginal people.
  • The three territories consist of some 96 communities; most of them home to small populations, the majority of whom are First Nations, Inuit or Mtis.
  • Some 92,300 residents are scattered across this area: Nunavut’s population is 29,474, while there are 41,464 people in the Northwest Territories and 30,372 in Yukon.
  • The population in the North is young, with 44 percent of the population under the age of 25.
  • Over half of the population of the North is Aboriginal, varying from 85 percent in Nunavut to about 51 percent in the Northwest Territories and about 23 percent in Yukon.
  • High school graduation rates in all three territories fall below the 75-percent national average. The rate in Yukon is 60 percent, in the Northwest Territories it is 43 percent, and only 25 percent of students graduate in Nunavut.

Alignment with Government of Canada Outcomes

Based on the operating environment and context described above, INAC set and made progress on priorities for 2006–2007 that support the following five program-related strategic outcomes:

  • The Government: Good governance, effective institutions and co-operative relationships for First Nations, Inuit and Northerners;
  • The People: Strengthened individual and family well-being for First Nations, Inuit and Northerners;
  • The Land: Sustainable use of lands and resources by First Nations, Inuit and Northerners;
  • The Economy: Increased participation of Aboriginal people and Northerners in the economy; and
  • Office of the Federal Interlocutor: Strengthened relationships with Mtis, non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal people to raise awareness of their needs and improve access to federal services with the aim of improving their socio-economic conditions.

These strategic outcomes shape policies, programs and services offered to First Nations, Inuit, Mtis, and Northerners, and provide criteria for assessing the department’s performance and progress.

Every department’s strategic outcomes must align with Government of Canada outcomes. For INAC, The Government, The People, The Land and The Economy are strongly linked to five Government of Canada outcomes outlined in Canada’s Performance, a companion document to Departmental Performance Reports. These are: Strong Economic Growth, A Clean and Healthy Environment, Healthy Canadians, Safe and Secure Communities, and a Diverse Society That Promotes Linguistic Duality and Social Inclusion. Through its strategic outcomes, program activities and priorities, INAC is committed to supporting Government of Canada efforts to achieve positive impacts on quality of life for all peoples in Canada.

Summary of Departmental Performance

This section summarizes departmental progress in achieving strategic outcomes through program activities and their expected results, and how strategic outcomes contribute to broader government-wide objectives.

Several examples of program activity results are provided for each strategic outcome. A complete report on all results can be found in Section II — Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome.

Departmental 2006–2007 Priorities and Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

The plans presented in the 2006–2007 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) were three-year plans, which included milestones due within 2006–2007. Progress has been made on all plans, and the performance status below refers to the milestones that were to be achieved in the 2006–2007 fiscal year. For detailed performance information, see Section IV — Details of Contributions to Departmental Priorities.


Priority Program Activity
Expected Results*
Performance
Status for
2006–2007
Strategic Outcome: The Government
Accountability and Capacity Building Governance and Institutions of Government
Strengthened First Nations and Inuit governance and capacity through legislative, policy and programming initiatives.
Milestones met
Northern Development Northern Governance
Strong northern governance and effective institutions allowing Northerners to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities resulting from northern development.
Milestones partially met
Strategic Outcome: The People
Education Education
Students residing on reserves have access to elementary and secondary programs and services that are reasonably comparable with programs and services available in public schools in the province or territory in which the reserve is located.

Eligible First Nations and Inuit people benefit from post-secondary education opportunities.
Milestones met
Women, Children and Families Social Development
Women’s rights are protected and eligible clients on reserves receive social services that are reasonably comparable with services provided by the province or territory in which the reserve is located.
Milestones met
Accountability and Capacity Building Managing Individual Affairs
A new Secure Certificate of Indian Status implemented nationally.
Milestones partially met
Strategic Outcome: The Land
Accountability and Capacity Building Responsible Federal Stewardship
Implementation of environmental management and stewardship programs and strategies, and modernized legislative and policy framework, for example, for commercial and industrial development, oil and gas management, and the Lands Registry.
Milestones met
First Nations Governance over Land, Resources and the Environment
Expansion of the First Nations Land Management Act and implementation of the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act.
Milestones met
Housing Responsible Federal Stewardship
Modernized legislative and regulatory framework for housing on reserves.
Milestones postponed
Mackenzie Gas Project; Northern Development Northern Land and Resources
The North’s natural resources developed in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Milestones met
Strategic Outcome: The Economy
Water and Wastewater for First Nations Communities Community Infrastructure
First Nations communities’ water and wastewater facilities meet federal guidelines.
Milestones met
Housing Community Infrastructure
Adequate on-reserve housing for First Nations communities.
Milestones partially met
Strategic Outcome: The Office of the Federal Interlocutor
Education; Women, Children and Families; Housing; Accountability and Capacity Building Co-operative Relationships
Development and implementation of practical ways of improving socio-economic conditions for Mtis, non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal people through development of effective partnerships, development of organizational capacity and professional development.
Milestones met
*For planned and actual spending by program activity, see Table 1.

Overall, INAC succeeded in meeting the milestones it set for 2006–2007. In 8 out of 12 priority areas, the department achieved its milestones, in three areas milestones were partially met, and one set of milestones was postponed.

Housing milestones for 2006–2007 were partially met or postponed. While INAC committed to completing a 10-year housing strategy by March 2007, a critical prerequisite was a review and renewal of the current on-reserve housing policy and its foundations. Such a review is now under way and more time is required to complete the work and engage First Nations and other stakeholders as appropriate.

Although the Northern governance milestones were only partially met, the department has completed 90 percent of its commitments to reaching an agreement in principle for future devolution in the Northwest Territories.

Progress was made on the Certificate of Indian Status project, not all milestones were completed due to delays arising from an evaluation of the procurement strategy resulting in additional process requirements.

The Government strategic outcome includes accountability and capacity building through governance and institutions as well as co-operative relationships for claims settlements and self-government agreements, which give First Nations and Inuit the tools they need to improve economic and social well-being, and to support their cultures. Through legislative, policy and programming initiatives, First Nations and Inuit governance in particular have been strengthened. Examples include:

  • The National Centre for First Nations Governance is in full operation and can respond to the diverse needs of First Nations and Inuit for implementing strong, effective and sustainable governments at different stages of development.
  • Settlement of nine specific claims, as well as a historic agreement with the Cree Eeyou Istchee and the signing of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claim Agreement and subsequent introduction of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claim Agreement Act in Parliament.

The Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories have made significant progress in reaching an agreement in principle for N.W.T. devolution. The discussions in 2006 were successful in addressing most of the outstanding issues raised in the 2005 deliberations.

The Government strategic outcome supports the social inclusion component of the Government of Canada strategic outcome titled ‘A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion’, which seeks to ensure the full participation of all Canadians at the economic, social, political and cultural levels. (Government of Canada strategic outcomes are presented annually in Canada’s Performance, a companion document to Departmental Performance Reports).

The People strategic outcome seeks to strengthen individual and family well-being for First Nations, Inuit and Northerners. In 2006–2007, INAC prioritized education, social development for women, children and families, and accountability and capacity building through managing individual affairs. Highlights of results include:

  • Supporting Improved First Nations education outcomes through continued investments that supported the 115,000 First Nations learners in elementary and secondary schools, including those with special needs. In addition, the department invested $300 million to assist 24,000 First Nations and Inuit students pursue post-secondary education.
  • The First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act was introduced and passed by Parliament.
  • The department has also continued to advance its Education Action Plan in collaboration with First Nations stakeholders by articulating roles, objectives, outcomes and performance indicators.
  • A $6-million investment was made in 2006 to the Family Violence Prevention Program for prevention initiatives and new shelters. Further investments made in 2007 provided funds for the construction of five new shelters, plus additional operational support for the new shelters and 35 existing shelters.
  • Implementation of the Alberta Response Model on reserves was explored to reduce the need for child removal from the parental home. Such initiatives represented a shift from a remedial and passive approach to social services to one that is proactive and focused on prevention.
  • A Ministerial Representative was appointed in June 2006 to facilitate national consultations to develop solutions to the legislative gap regarding on-reserve matrimonial property. Consultations were held from September 20, 2006, to January 31, 2007. On March 9, 2007, the Ministerial Representative submitted a report to the Minister outlining recommended solutions.
  • Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, was introduced in December 2006. Bill C-44 proposes to repeal section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prevents individuals, particularly those living on reserves, from making complaints of discrimination arising from actions taken or decisions made pursuant to the Indian Act.
  • The department continued to support healthy northern communities through its delivery of the Food Mail Program, and by working with Aboriginal and northern communities to deliver direct social, educational and registration program services to Status Indians that were not being provided by territorial governments.
  • The maintenance of a complete, accurate and current Indian Register and effective administration of First Nations individuals’ estates and individual and band moneys.

The People strategic outcome supports the Government of Canada Healthy Canadians strategic outcome, and the social inclusion component of the Government of Canada strategic outcome, titled A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion, which seeks to ensure the full participation of all Canadians at the economic, social, political, and cultural levels.

The Land strategic outcome is sustainable use of lands and resources by First Nations, Inuit and Northerners. In response to its Report on Plans and Priorities commitments, INAC:

  • Added 34,879 hectares to reserves from April 1, 2006, to March 31, 2007 — twice the amount added to reserves in 2005–2006. Speeding up the Additions to Reserve (ATR) process provides First Nations with greater access to land and resources and clarity of title.
  • Significantly modernized the legislative and regulatory framework for First Nations land and resources by implementing the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act and the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act.
  • Reduced the number of contaminated sites in the North by 26, a reduction of 7 percent, in fiscal year 2006–2007.
  • In the North, the department took steps to address the socio-economic pressures on N.W.T. communities from the Mackenzie Gas Project by undertaking an ongoing environmental assessment, and reached a settlement agreement related to the project with the Dene Tha’ First Nation. The department continues to take steps to improve the regulatory system in the North to reinvigorate and redefine Canada’s role in northern development, and to reduce complexity by increasing the predictability and efficiency of the regimes.

The Land strategic outcome supports the Government of Canada Clean and Healthy Environment and Strong Economic Growth strategic outcomes.

Housing, Water and Wastewater for First Nations Communities were priorities for The Economy strategic outcome in 2006–2007 as concrete ways of reducing the economic disparities between Aboriginal people and other Canadians. Successes include:

  • $300 million in the Budget 2007 to create the First Nations Market Housing Fund, which will allow First Nations families and individuals to purchase, build or renovate homes on reserves, and to build equity as other Canadians do.
  • Considerable progress in improving drinking water quality by implementing the Plan of Action for Drinking Water in First Nations Communities, including reduction of the number of high-risk water treatment systems on reserves from 170 to 90, a 24-hour support hotline to more than 875 water/wastewater operators and expanded training initiatives.
  • In the North, 15 Yukon-based First Nations and Aboriginal organizations benefited from the Plan of Action. The department also administered a range of infrastructure programming in all three territories on behalf of Infrastructure Canada, which made significant contributions to water and wastewater services, as reported by Infrastructure Canada.

These investments in community infrastructure are basic but essential elements that individuals, communities and businesses need to seize economic opportunities.

In the North, the department also made other investments in territorial economies, such as expansion of geoscientific knowledge, through its Targeted Investment Program.

The Economy strategic outcome supports the Government of Canada’s Strong Economic Growth strategic outcome, as well as its Safe and Secure Communities strategic outcome, which focuses on the ability of Canadians to adequately support themselves financially as a basis for quality of life.

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor (OFI) also met its targets in seeking to strengthen relationships with Mtis, non-Status Indians and urban Aboriginal people. The OFI:

  • Developed co-operative approaches within the federal government and with provincial governments and Mtis organizations to manage the Mtis Aboriginal rights set out in the Supreme Court of Canada Powley decision.
  • Continued to implement the government’s Urban Aboriginal Strategy through the transfer of $13.1 million in program funds to Western Economic Diversification and Service Canada. With these funds, urban Aboriginal communities, in co-operation with federal departments, provincial and municipal governments and the private sector, developed and implemented projects according to local priorities.

In these and other ways, the OFI is making progress toward its strategic outcome of greater awareness of its stakeholders’ needs within the federal government, increased access to services and improved socio-economic conditions.

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor strategic outcome supports the social inclusion component of the Government of Canada strategic outcome A Diverse Society That Promotes Linguistic duality and Social Inclusion, which seeks to ensure the full participation of all Canadians at the economic, social, political and cultural levels.

 

INAC takes pride in the progress made in 2006–2007 toward its strategic outcomes. While always aware of ongoing challenges and risks, INAC is committed to further progress on the path it has set to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and Northerners.