An Office of Native Claims was established in 1974 to represent the government in claims negotiations with Aboriginal groups. Claims negotiations are now handled by the Claims sector of the department and in British Columbia through the Federal Treaty Negotiations Office in Vancouver.
As a result of departmental streamlining and restructuring, the Indian and Inuit Affairs Program was divided into five business lines (in 1995-96): Claims, Indian and Inuit Programming, Northern Affairs, Transfer Payments to the Territories (transferred to Department of Finance), and Administration. The goals of the program are to assist Aboriginal communities to overcome obstacles to their development and to help them marshal the human and physical resources necessary to build and sustain viable communities. Priorities include: settling land claims; supporting the development of communities to improve on-reserve economic opportunities and living conditions; developing the program's management, delivery and accountability to Aboriginal authorities; and negotiating substantive ABORIGINAL SELF-GOVERNMENT. A fourth sector, Corporate Services, is responsible for resource acquisitions and allocation for the program and community funding activities.
The thrust of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada programs is to implement northern Aboriginal land claims, encourage more diversified and private sector economic development, achieve the transfer of provincial-type responsibility to the territorial governments, and promote environmental awareness and sustainable development.
Together these programs help AANDC focus on its main aims of Aboriginal self-government, economic development for Aboriginal people, a better quality of life in Aboriginal and Inuit communities, better management of First Nations' land, resources and monies, and Northern development.
Author COLETTE E. DERWORIZ
Links to Other Sites
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
The official website of Canada's Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, which is responsible for meeting the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge
The website for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge, which features Canada's largest essay writing competition for Aboriginal youth (ages 14-29) and a companion program for those who prefer to work through painting, drawing and photography. See their guidelines, teacher resources, profiles of winners, and more. From the Historica-Dominion Institute.
The Making of Treaty 8 in Canada's Northwest
This site, which features poignant oral histories and archival material, commemorates the signing of Treaty 8 in the 19th Century and considers the complex issues relating to past, present, and future First Nations treaty negotiations in Canada. From the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Glossary: Treaty 6
A glossary of terms related to the history of Treaty 6. From the Alberta Online Encyclopedia.