Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Polar Commission

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Minister’s Message

On behalf of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the Canadian Polar Commission, I am pleased to present the 2007–2008 Departmental Performance Report.

This year’s report reflects our determination to improve the quality of life of Northerners and Aboriginal people in Canada. As you will see in this report, our Government’s collaborative approach has already produced several important breakthroughs. We have made significant progress in child and family services, housing, and in drinking water systems in First Nations communities.

In support of our Northern Strategy, we continued our efforts to develop the tremendous potential of Canada’s North — improving infrastructure, supporting Northern science research and harnessing the North’s vast resources in a way that is environmentally sustainable, as well as good for the economy and Northerners.

While this report highlights our performance, the many successes of our partners should also be recognized. Aboriginal people and Northerners are taking more control over their social, political and economic affairs in order to participate more fully in our nation’s prosperity. I am proud of the ways we have supported this important goal in 2007–2008.

It is also important to acknowledge the challenges that remain, that more progress is needed and that this can only be achieved through ongoing cooperation with our many partners. With this cooperation, we are determined to create the necessary conditions for all Aboriginal people and Northerners to secure a higher standard of living and quality of life.

The Honourable Chuck Strahl
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
and Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians

Section 1 — Agency Overview

Summary Information

Raison d’tre

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) supports Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit, and Mtis) and Northerners in their efforts to:

  • improve social well-being and economic prosperity;
  • develop healthier, more sustainable communities; and
  • participate more fully in Canada’s political, social, and economic development — to the benefit of all Canadians.

The Canadian Polar Commission leads Canada’s polar research and strengthens Canada’s international reputation as a circumpolar nation by promoting knowledge of the polar regions and their importance to Canada.


Mandate, Roles, and Responsibilities

INAC is the lead federal government department responsible for coordinating and fulfilling the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit, and Mtis), and in the North. In addition, 34 federal departments and agencies have responsibilities and programs for Aboriginal people.

Note: Readers may wish to refer to INAC terminology.

INAC’s responsibilities for Indian and Inuit Affairs include:

  • negotiating land claim and self-government agreements with First Nations and Inuit, and overseeing settled claims on behalf of the federal government;
  • facilitating economic development opportunities for Aboriginal individuals, communities, and businesses;
  • delivering province-like services to Status Indians on reserves such as education, housing, community infrastructure, and social support;
  • promoting improved federal services and policies for Inuit-specific concerns;
  • promoting improved federal services for Aboriginal people who do not live on reserves, and serving as a point of contact between the Government of Canada and Mtis, Non-Status Indians, and urban Aboriginal people (through the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Mtis and Non-Status Indians); and
  • fulfilling duties under the Indian Act, such as managing Indian reserve lands and certain moneys belonging to First Nations, and approving or disallowing by-laws in First Nation communities.

Note: In June 2008 the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada became part of INAC. This organizational change will be reflected in INAC’s Estimates documents for 2008–2009.

INAC’s responsibilities for Northern Development include:

  • providing services such as managing contaminated sites and subsidizing nutritious perishable food;
  • advancing Canada’s circumpolar interests, such as Arctic sovereignty and environmental protection;
  • managing resources, land, and environment across much of the North, except where these responsibilities have been transferred to territorial governments; and
  • promoting political and economic development in Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, including the transfer of federal responsibilities to territorial governments (known as 'devolution').

Increasingly, INAC is also responsible for planning and co-ordinating the development of government-wide policies for Aboriginal and Northern priorities. For example, INAC provides government-wide leadership on Aboriginal economic development and leads the overall development of the federal government’s Northern Strategy, which is responsible for such key initiatives as the High Arctic Research Station. Under both mandates, INAC is actively involved in international indigenous and circumpolar activities with Aboriginal and Northern organizations, states, and international organizations.

INAC’s Program Activity Architecture illustrates how these wide-ranging responsibilities are aligned with the strategic outcomes that support the Department’s mandate.

The Canadian Polar Commission leads Canada’s polar research and strengthens Canada’s international reputation as a circumpolar nation. The Commission promotes knowledge of the Polar Regions and their importance to Canada, and it also provides polar science policy direction to government.

Operating Environment

INAC delivers programs and services to people with diverse needs...
First Nations, Inuit, Mtis, and Northerners often have distinct priorities and needs which require specific approaches. In addition, federal legal obligations to each group vary.

... in diverse locations
INAC delivers programs and services to many Northern communities and First Nation communities in the South which are remote, ecologically sensitive, and/or have severe climates. INAC also delivers programs to Aboriginal people who live in or near urban areas, and to an increasing number who move to and from reserves.

...and in collaboration with, or through, a range of partners.
Most of INAC’s programs — representing a majority of its spending — are delivered through partnerships with Aboriginal communities, federal-provincial or federal-territorial agreements, or formal bilateral or multilateral negotiating processes. The third-party nature of service delivery presents challenges to reporting on results.

departmental spending Over 60 percent of departmental spending (3 of 17 program activities) is committed to basic services, such as education, social services, and community infrastructure to provide access to provincial-type services.

Risks and Challenges

INAC holds diverse and complex responsibilities which are shaped by centuries of history, and by unique demographic and geographic challenges.

INAC’s priorities, its performance, and how it delivers services is strongly influenced by Canada’s changing social, economic, and political landscape. The brief explanation below of key factors helps readers understand how INAC’s success in meeting its objectives depends on strong partnerships and action by a broad range of institutions and organizations over the long term.

Canada’s Aboriginal population is young and growing.
One million people in Canada now self-identify as an Aboriginal person. The Aboriginal population is young and growing twice as fast as the overall Canadian population. These demographic trends result in more demand for schools, housing, public infrastructure, and the services INAC provides to young families.

This population growth is also an opportunity. Canada needs more workers to support economic growth. If properly supported through skills and education, Aboriginal employment can be an important solution. In addition, more Aboriginal businesses and communities are creating wealth and employment opportunities. They are creating partnerships and opportunities, and are essential to continued growth in major economic sectors. INAC continues to address these challenges and opportunities in an integrated way through its plans, policies, and programs.

Achieving social and economic progress is a lengthy process — but urgently needed.
Many Aboriginal people continue to experience much lower social and economic well-being compared with other Canadians. Aboriginal people tend to have lower levels of education, poorer health, and higher rates of unemployment. They also experience higher levels of violence, particularly Aboriginal women. Many First Nation and Inuit communities have insufficient, inadequate housing and unsafe drinking water. In 2007–2008 INAC addressed some pressing needs in this area.

Court rulings.
Supreme Court rulings continue to refine Aboriginal and treaty rights and, therefore, INAC’s mandate. For example, recent decisions, like the Chicot and Dene Tha’, are further clarifying which 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.

The North is important — to the economy, to the environment, and to sovereignty.
With world-class mineral, oil, and gas deposits, the North is a place of incredible opportunity for regional economies and as a source of revenue for governments. The North is also on the front line of climate change impacts and adaptation. The importance of the North to sovereignty continues to increase as sea ice melts and the opening of the Northwest Passage becomes a reality. INAC must balance the need to support the North’s economic potential with sustainable development and environmental protection.

Overall Performance

Summary of Performance

On the whole, INAC achieved the results it planned to achieve in 2007–2008, recognizing that many challenges remain.

In many respects, this was an historic year for INAC, its partners, and the people it serves. Major land claim and self-government agreements were finalized and implemented, which strengthens the relationship between Aboriginal people and Canada, addresses historic injustices, and sets the conditions for economic and social development that benefits all Canadians. In addition, the Specific Claims Tribunal Act was introduced (and passed in June 2008). The Tribunal will bring greater fairness to the way First Nations’ past grievances related to land, funds, or other assets (known as specific claims) are handled while also accelerating the resolution of these claims. A leader among participating countries, Canada helped launch International Polar Year, investing in research to address climate change and Northern well-being. With the approval of C-21, an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, the human rights of individuals who live on reserves can now be fully protected.

Results like those noted above are creating positive impacts for communities, regions, and the country as a whole over the long term. INAC also achieved results with immediate impacts in areas of greatest need, with practical benefits to individuals and to their quality of life. INAC partially met the commitments it set in these areas, ranging from safe drinking water on First Nation reserves to improved access to nutritious foods in remote Northern communities. Investments in economic development and education also continue to deliver important results, from the creation and expansion of businesses owned by Aboriginal people to partnerships that will improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal students, on and off reserves.

While achievements over the past year are significant, INAC also recognizes that much more needs to be done to address the challenges many Aboriginal people and Northerners face. As this report demonstrates, INAC continues to critically evaluate its performance and make adjustments based on lessons learned. At the same time, it is important to recognize successes, particularly those led by Aboriginal and Northern people, communities, and governments.

Progress on Departmental Priorities for 2007–2008

Overall, INAC successfully met the commitments it set for its 2007–2008 departmental priorities. For 5 out of 10 priorities all commitments were met. Commitments were partially met for the remaining 5 priorities, though significant progress was still achieved in these areas. The chart below summarizes progress on the Department’s 2007–2008 priorities. Each priority supports INAC’s strategic outcomes. For detailed results for each strategic outcome, which includes more information on the priorities below, please see Section II of this report.

Commitment Assessment on Progress toward Priorities
Priority: Safe Water (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The Economy
Implement Plan of Action from Drinking Water in First Nations Communities Progress Report (December 2006). Commitments partially met. In 2007–2008 the number of high-risk water systems was reduced from 97 to 77. Also, the number of water treatment system operators who have achieved the first level of certification or greater has increased from 37% to 59% of all operators.
Priority: Housing (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The Economy
New housing on-reserve and adequate renovated on-reserve housing. All commitments met for increasing new housing units constructed and for reducing the number of outstanding health and safety projects to be addressed.
Priority: Education (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The People
Regional Education Partnerships established to improve outcomes for all Aboriginal students, on and off reserves. Commitments partially met. In British Columbia, the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education Act came into effect in November 2007. Work progressed on establishing additional education partnerships, with significant progress made on reaching an agreement with New Brunswick.
Priority: Child and Family Services (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The People
Review and adapt program authorities related to First Nations Child and Family Services so that child welfare programs and services are more comparable to provincial programs and services. Commitments partially met. The number and quality of care options available to First Nations on reserves increased.
Priority: Matrimonial Real Property Legislation (new priority) Strategic Outcome: The People
Development and introduction of an enduring legislative solution to the issue of on-reserve matrimonial real property. On target. Bill C-47 was introduced in the House of Commons on March 4, 2008. Second Reading debate of Bill C-47 took place from May 13–15, 2008.
Priority: Repeal of Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (Bill C-21) (new priority) Strategic Outcome: The People
Repeal Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Commitment was met when Royal Assent of Bill C-21 was received on June 18, 2008. Bill C-21, An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act, was introduced, and at the end of the reporting period was awaiting Report stage in the House of Commons.
Priority: Productive Claims Negotiations (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The Government
Achievement of deliverables and key milestones identified in agreed-upon work plans in land claims and self-government negotiations. Commitments partially met. Seventy-three percent of milestones were achieved in agreed-upon work plans in land claims and self-government negotiations.
Priority: Economic Development (new priority) Strategic Outcome: The Economy
Increased participation of Aboriginal people in the economy; increased employment opportunities and job creation; increased federal contracts and revenue for Aboriginal businesses. Commitments partially met. Numerous business opportunities have been realized with 380 businesses created and 242 businesses expanded with the assistance of INAC programming. Aboriginal businesses have been awarded 5,384 federal contracts valued at $337 million. Changes in the Aboriginal labour force participation and employment rate will be reported after the next census.
Priority: Mackenzie Gas Project (ongoing priority) Strategic Outcome: The Economy
Advancement of the Mackenzie Gas Project. Commitments met. Substantial progress was made on regulatory processes for construction approvals and supporting scientific basis for decisions. Adequate progress was made on resolving related Aboriginal claims and interests.
Priority: International Polar Year (new priority) Strategic Outcome: The People
Leading Canada’s efforts in International Polar Year. All commitments met for supporting the generation of new scientific data, information and knowledge, and engagement of Northerners, Aboriginal people, youth, and communities.
Please note terminology change: The term ‘Commitment’ replaces ‘Initiative/Expected Result’ which was used in the corresponding chart on pages 13–15 in the 2007–2008 Report on Plans and Priorities.

For detailed reporting against management priority expected results provided in INAC's Report on Plans and Priorities for 2007–2008, see Internal Services in the online extended Performance Report.

The Program Activity Architecture shown below provides an overview of the Department’s strategic outcomes and supporting program activities.

I N A C Program Activity Architecture

Expenditure Profile

INAC’s actual spending for 2007–2008 was $7.3 billion. The spending trend for the Department has been on a positive slope. Actual spending increased by 25% from 2005–2006 ($5.9 billion) and 19% from 2006–2007 ($6.1 billion). This increase is due to three factors:

  • A $1.1 billion payment to the Quebec Cree in 2007–2008 to settle implementation issues respecting the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and related litigation. This payment reflects the most significant variance between planned and actual spending;
  • Incremental funding to meet the ongoing requirement to provide programs and services to growing First Nations and Inuit populations;
  • Funding provided in Federal Budgets from 2004–2006 for education; protecting and supporting Aboriginal women, children, families water, housing and infrastructure on-reserve; Mackenzie Gas Project; Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan; and the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program.

Planned spending from 2007–2008 to 2010–2011 will decrease mainly because the payment to the Quebec Cree has been made and targeted investments made through Federal Budgets for the initiatives listed above (as well as the First Nations Water Management Strategy funding from Budget 2003) will be complete.

Planned spending will decrease to $6.9 billion in 2008–2009 and to $6.5 billion and $6.2 billion in 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 respectively. Planned spending is subject to change in future budgets.

The chart below shows the Department’s spending trend over a six-year period (three-year actual spending and three-year planned spending).

spending trend The Expenditure Profile reflects significant variation over the time horizon due to a number of key factors including: large single payment claims settlements; changes in the funding profile of various specific purpose (targeted) initiatives; and termination (sunsetting) of time-limited initiatives.



Comparison of Planned to Actual Spending (including FTEs)

($ millions) Actual 2005–2006 Actual 2006–2007 2007–2008
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Governance and Institutions of Government 558.6 645.1 637.0 652.6 651.3 648.2
Co-operative Relationships 179.2 184.3 240.6 240.8 237.8 201.1
Claims Settlements* 500.8 523.3 1,360.2 1,355.6
Northern Governance 8.7 8.1 10.3 10.3 13.8 6.2
Managing Individual Affairs 20.0 17.1 24.7 24.7 23.9 18.9
Education 1,619.2 1,679.8 1,667.2 1,670.4 1,742.1 1,734.7
Social Development 1,352.5 1,425.7 1,400.5 1,400.8 1,520.6 1,516.9
Healthy Northern Communities 97.3 96.4 88.4 140.2 107.4 106.5
Clarity of Title to Land and Resources 27.1 10.9 9.7 9.7 12.4 10.5
Responsible Federal Stewardship 22.9 120.4 49.0 49.0 92.2 86.7
First Nations Governance over Land, Resources and the Environment 87.9 15.4 36.0 36.0 31.9 15.3
Northern Land and Resources 164.8 182.7 188.3 188.4 203.9 179.8
Economic and Employment Opportunities for Aboriginal People 67.9 2.5 1.1 1.1 1.5 1.2
Economic Development* 501.9 418.7 125.3 174.4 201.5 153.0
Community Infrastructure 1,114.3 1,261.3 1,265.3 1,265.6 1,226.0 1,225.9
Northern Economy 15.6 23.1 26.8 26.9 38.0 23.7
Co-operative Relations 37.0 39.6 35.7 35.8 42.2 37.7
Sub-Total 5,874.9 6,131.1 6,306.7 6,449.8 7,506.9 7,321.8
Budget 2006 funding not allocated to specific program activities 314.5
Total 5,874.9 6,131.1 6,306.7 6,764.3 7,506.9 7,321.8
Less: Non-Respendable Revenue 299.7 248.3 N/A 209.7 N/A 284.9
Plus: Cost of services received without charge 68.7 72.4 N/A 69.2 N/A 73.8
Net Cost of Program 5,643.9 5,955.2 N/A 6,623.8 N/A 7,110.6
Full-Time Equivalents 3,967 4,063 N/A 4,390 N/A 4,262
Canadian Polar Commission
Research Facilitation and Communication 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Total 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Less: Non-Respendable Revenue
Plus: Cost of services received without charge
Total Spending 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Full-Time Equivalents 5 5 5 5 5 5
Due to rounding, figures may not add to totals shown.
*In 2005–2006 and 2006–2007, Claims Settlements was included in Economic Development.

Variations between Main Estimates, Planned Spending, Total Authorities, and Actual Spending are largely attributable to the timing of key elements of the fiscal cycle. Main Estimates are the initial appropriations and do not include resources to be accessed through the supplementary estimates exercise(s); such as funding announced in the Federal Budget. These additional resources are included in Planned Spending and Total Authorities. Actual Spending reflects the Department’s final expenditures and may be less than total authorized spending largely due to approved re-profiling and the carrying forward of resources to the next fiscal year. For more explanation on the Comparison of Planned to Actual Spending (including FTEs) table see details on Financial Exercise.

2007–2008 Financial Resources — $ millions

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 6,764.3 7,506.9 7,321.8
Canadian Polar Commission 1.0 1.0 1.0

2007–2008 Human Resources — Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)

  Planned Actual Difference
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 4,389.5 4,262.0 (127.5)
Canadian Polar Commission 5.0 5.0