Assented to 2019-06-21
An Act respecting the Department of Indigenous Services
Whereas the Government of Canada is committed to
achieving reconciliation with First Nations, the Métis and the Inuit through renewed nation-to-nation, government-to-government and Inuit-Crown relationships based on affirmation and implementation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership,
promoting respect for the rights of Indigenous peoples recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and
implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
And whereas it is appropriate to establish a Department of Indigenous Services and that the Department, in carrying out its activities,
ensures that Indigenous individuals have access — in accordance with transparent service standards and the needs of each Indigenous group, community or people — to services for which those individuals are eligible,
takes into account socio-economic gaps that persist between Indigenous individuals and other Canadians with respect to a range of matters as well as social factors having an impact on health and well-being,
recognizes and promotes Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing,
collaborates and cooperates with Indigenous peoples and with the provinces and territories, and
implements the gradual transfer of departmental responsibilities to Indigenous organizations;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
Department means the department established under section 3. (ministère)
- Indigenous governing body
Indigenous governing body means a council, government or other entity that is authorized to act on behalf of an Indigenous group, community or people that holds rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. (corps dirigeant autochtone)
- Indigenous organization
Indigenous organization means an Indigenous governing body or any other entity that represents the interests of an Indigenous group and its members. (organisation autochtone)
- Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples has the meaning assigned by the definition aboriginal peoples of Canada in subsection 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. (peuples autochtones)
Minister means the Minister of Indigenous Services. (ministre)
Establishment of Department
Marginal note:Department established
3 There is established a department of the Government of Canada, called the Department of Indigenous Services, over which the Minister presides.
4 The Minister, appointed by commission under the Great Seal, holds office during pleasure and has the management and direction of the Department.
Marginal note:Deputy Minister
5 The Governor in Council may appoint a Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services to hold office during pleasure and to be the deputy head of the Department.
Powers, Duties and Functions of Minister
Marginal note:Powers, duties and functions
6 (1) The Minister’s powers, duties and functions extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction — and that are not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada — relating to the provision of services to Indigenous individuals who, and Indigenous governing bodies that, are eligible to receive those services under an Act of Parliament or a program of the Government of Canada for which the Minister is responsible.
Marginal note:Ministerial duty
(2) The Minister is to ensure that services with respect to the following matters are provided to Indigenous individuals who, and Indigenous governing bodies that, are eligible to receive those services under an Act of Parliament or a program of the Government of Canada for which the Minister is responsible — including, in the case of Indigenous individuals, services provided by Indigenous governing bodies, if applicable:
(a) child and family services;
(d) social development;
(e) economic development;
(h) emergency management;
(h.1) governance; and
(i) any other matter designated by order of the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Collaboration and transfer of responsibilities
7 In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions under this Act, the Minister is to
(a) provide Indigenous organizations with an opportunity to collaborate in the development, provision, assessment and improvement of the services referred to in subsection 6(2); and
(b) in accordance with any agreements respecting the transfer of responsibilities that are entered into under section 9, take the appropriate measures to give effect to the gradual transfer to Indigenous organizations of departmental responsibilities with respect to the development and provision of those services.
8 For greater certainty, subsection 6(2) and section 7 apply subject to the transfer of responsibilities referred to in paragraph 7(b) and to agreements with Indigenous organizations, including land claims, self-government or self-determination agreements.
9 The Minister may enter into agreements with Indigenous organizations and other entities regarding the provision of services referred to in subsection 6(2) and the transfer of responsibilities referred to in paragraph 7(b).
Marginal note:Special representatives
10 (1) The Minister may appoint special representatives to provide him or her with advice on any matter relating to his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act or to any other matter relating to this Act, or to represent him or her in the context of, among other things, any consultation or engagement with an Indigenous organization or Indigenous group, community or people with respect to such a matter.
(2) The Minister may also establish advisory and other committees to provide him or her with advice on any matter referred to in subsection (1).
Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses
(3) The Minister is to fix the remuneration and expenses to be paid to special representatives and to committee members.
Marginal note:Provision of services between departments
11 The Department may provide services to and receive services from the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs — including services to support policy and program implementation — as provided in a written agreement between the Minister and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Minister of Northern Affairs, as the case may be.
Marginal note:Collection and use of information
12 (1) The Minister may, in exercising his or her powers and performing his or her duties or functions under this Act, collect, analyze and interpret documents, information or data in respect of matters under his or her administration.
Marginal note:Disclosure of information
(2) The Minister may, in exercising his or her powers and performing his or her duties or functions under this Act, disclose or permit to be disclosed, in whole or in part, those documents and that information or data to, among others,
(a) the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs;
(b) a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act, a division or branch of the federal public administration set out in column I of Schedule I.1 to that Act, a corporation named in Schedule II to that Act or a Crown corporation as defined in subsection 83(1) of that Act;
(c) an Indigenous organization; or
(d) a not-for-profit entity controlled by Indigenous individuals.
Marginal note:Exceptions related to disclosure
(3) Paragraphs (2)(c) and (d) do not apply in respect of any information, or to any documents or data that would reveal any information,
(a) that is personal information as defined in section 3 of the Privacy Act, unless
(i) the personal information is publicly available,
(ii) the individual to whom the personal information relates consents to its disclosure, or
(iii) the disclosure is for a purpose referred to in any of paragraphs 8(2)(a), (b), (f), (j), (k) or (m) of the Privacy Act;
(b) that is protected by solicitor-client privilege or professional secrecy of advocates and notaries or by litigation privilege;
(c) the disclosure of which is restricted under any provision of any other Act of Parliament set out in Schedule II to the Access to Information Act; or
(d) that is a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as defined in subsection 39(2) of the Canada Evidence Act.
Marginal note:Support for Indigenous bodies
13 The Minister may support Indigenous bodies that specialize in research or statistics, in relation to their activities involving the collection, analysis, interpretation, publication and distribution of documents, information or data relating to the provision of services to Indigenous individuals.
14 The Minister may delegate any of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act or any other Act of Parliament, except the power to delegate under this section, to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations or the Minister of Northern Affairs, for any period and under any terms that the Minister considers suitable.
Marginal note:Annual report to Parliament
15 The Minister must cause to be tabled in each House of Parliament, within three months after the end of the fiscal year or, if the House is not then sitting, on any of the first 15 days of the next sitting of the House, a report on
(a) the socio-economic gaps between First Nations individuals, Inuit, Métis individuals and other Canadians and the measures taken by the Department to reduce those gaps; and
(b) the progress made towards the transfer of responsibilities referred to in paragraph 7(b).
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