What is the Indigenous Affairs Secretariat?

The Indigenous Affairs Secretariat exists to help organizations fulfill their Indigenous obligations, answer treaty questions, and help with the legal duty to consult.
The Indigenous Affairs Secretariat exists to help organizations fulfill their Indigenous obligations, answer treaty questions, and help with the legal duty to consult.

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The Indigenous Affairs Secretariat (IAS) is your Defence Team support on Indigenous matters, including treaty questions and help with the legal duty to consult. We are here to help organizations fulfill their Indigenous obligations, which are found in laws, treaties and policies. We also provide guidance on engagement and relationship building with Indigenous communities.

The IAS helps to ensure these commitments and obligations are met.

For instance, did you know the Defence Learning Network includes an online training course on Aboriginal Consultation specific to the DND/CAF? For a more hands on learning experience, the IAS also works with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to coordinate training on Indigenous matters.

The IAS has recently relaunched the Indigenous Affairs Network. This internal group meets on a quarterly basis to share best practices on the implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights and collaborate on Indigenous issues as they relate to DND policies, operations and procedures.

Moreover, for each of Canada’s military bases and wings we have developed summaries that provide a crash course on treaty rights, claims, litigation and nearby Indigenous communities. These tools and more can be accessed through our SharePoint site (see link below).

Be aware:

  • If you are submitting a Cabinet or Treasury Board proposal you must include an assessment of modern treaty implications.
  • If you are planning an activity that could adversely impact Indigenous and/or treaty rights, consultation may be legally required.
  • If you are planning a procurement, you may want to consider the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business.
  • If you are contacted by an Indigenous community and require assistance on how to proceed, you can contact the IAS for advice.

The IAS provides support and guidance on all these issues and more.

To learn more please contact the Indigenous Affairs Secretariat or visit our SharePoint site.

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