A First Nation interpreter explains the cedar medicine, Pukaskwa National Park of Canada, ON
© Parks Canada
A costumed interpreter playing the violin, Batoche National Historic Site of Canada, SK
© K. Hogarth
Inuit elders sharing a moment together
© Parks Canada
The Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat,now called the Indigenous Affairs Branch, was created in 1999 to provide national leadership and support within Parks Canada on matters relating to Indigenous peoples and to facilitate the strengthening of relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
The Indigenous Affairs Branch is located in the Parks Canada offices in the National Capital Region and currently consists of eleven employees. The Director is accountable directly to the CEO. The Indigenous Affairs Branch also provides support and networking possibilities for the many PCA staff working on Indigenous Affairs across Canada.
The broad objective of the Indigenous Affairs Branch is to facilitate the participation of Indigenous people in Canada's natural and cultural heritage places. Flowing from that objective, five main priorities have been identified:
- Strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities;
- Increasing presentation and interpretation of Indigenous heritage;
- Encouraging economic partnerships and opportunities with Indigenous peoples;
- Enhancing Indigenous employment opportunities; and,
- Commemorating new national historic sites focusing on Indigenous history.
The Indigenous Affairs Branch is divided into three key program areas to ensure the delivery of the Agency's Program Activity commitments:
Indigenous Engagement - The Policy Advisors/Officers support the Field Units in the development of engagement practices and structures with Indigenous communities. They also advise federal departments on PCA's position regarding engagement practices in the Agency and provide expert advice and analysis to senior management on Indigenous engagement and policy development.
Indigenous Consultation - The Policy Advisors/Officers support the Field Units during negotiations and implementation of consultation protocols with Indigenous communities. They also advise federal departments on Parks Canada’s position regarding consultation and provide expert advice and analysis to senior management on Indigenous consultation and policy development.
Negotiations - The Land Claim and Treat Negotiation Advisors represent the Agency during negotiations of comprehensive land claim agreements and other land claim-related agreements to support establishment and conservation goals. They also advise federal treaty negotiators regarding Parks Canada's positions on issues related to treaty negotiations and provide expert advice and analysis to senior management on Indigenous negotiations and policy development.
Contact Information for the Indigenous Affairs Branch