Ministry overview

Purpose

The Ministry of Indigenous Affairs (IAO) (formerly the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation) leads strategic Indigenous policy for Ontario, spearheads cross-government initiatives that improve outcomes for Indigenous people, leads the provincial negotiation of Indigenous land claims, and supports economic development for Indigenous partners.

Ministry contribution to priority outcomes

The ministry’s strategic direction is focused on three areas:

  • Promoting economic opportunities
    • Lead the development of the government’s policy agenda for Indigenous people and communities
    • Provide funding to directly support economic development, jobs and prosperity for Indigenous people and communities, including Indigenous community participation in land and resource consultation and engagement
    • Inform and/or lead policy and program initiatives which support Indigenous community development and economic sustainability
    • Contribute to the development and implementation of operational strategies and options for critical infrastructure development in the north
    • Inform policy and program development through data, research, and performance measurement
    • Improve access to Ontario government programs, services and information for Indigenous people by working with other ministries and Indigenous organizations
  • Improving quality of life for Indigenous people
    • Facilitate the design, delivery and evaluation of the range of health and social programs and services across ministries that support Indigenous communities and organizations
    • Provide funding to support Indigenous communities and organizations to improve social conditions on and off reserve including community capital projects
    • Lead the response to social emergencies in First Nation communities through formalized processes
    • Coordinate mandatory Indigenous Cultural Competency Training for all OPS employees to help public servants develop more inclusive policies and programs that consider the distinct needs of Indigenous peoples
    • Coordinate a cross-ministry approach to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of Indigenous women and girls
    • Assess implications of and opportunities in federal legislation, policies and commitments for Indigenous communities and organizations in Ontario
  • Meeting Ontario’s legal obligations
    • Lead the resolution of land and land-related claims with First Nations and other Indigenous communities in Ontario
    • Monitor First Nation community issues that may lead to legal or direct action on matters that could impact all Ontarians, leading and/or supporting Ontario’s response
    • Provide expertise and direction to legal counsel in litigation on matters related to Indigenous communities
    • Enhance awareness of Indigenous people, issues and best practices for engaging with Indigenous people
    • Provide funding to Indigenous communities to participate meaningfully in negotiations on claims
    • Lead implementation of land and land-related settlements and support implementation of Indigenous litigation settlements
    • Support ministries to ensure Ontario’s Duty to Consult obligations are met

Ministry programs

IAO works to meet Ontario’s commitment to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people in three strategic areas.

Promoting economic opportunities

  • Working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to repeal the Far North Act to reduce red tape and promote economic development for First Nations in the Far North including the Ring of Fire.
  • Working with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM) and MNRF to move forward with resource revenue sharing from mining, forestry and aggregates to help Indigenous communities share in benefits from resource development.
  • Leading the implementation of the Aboriginal Procurement Program to increase opportunities for First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses to help ensure Ontario is open for business.
  • Working with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines to support the development and implementation of operations strategies related to the Ring of Fire area, including consultation frameworks and community identification.
  • Working with the Ministries of Transportation, Natural Resources and Forestry, and Energy, Northern Development and Mines to develop a cross-government strategy to address roads and related infrastructure in the north, including all-season roads, highway twinning and highway safety.
  • Working with the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) and other partner ministries to engage Indigenous communities and organizations on the legalization of recreational cannabis in Ontario, including undertaking discussions to explore on-reserve approaches that advance mutual priorities.
  • Supporting the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) and ENDM in developing Ontario’s five-year broadband and cellular strategy to improve and expand broadband, digital services and cellular access in unserved and underserved areas, including advancing broadband access for Ontario First Nations.
  • Working with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to engage First Nation communities and leaders on tobacco and potential new partnerships regarding on-reserve approaches to tobacco regulation.
  • Collaborating with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) on engaging Indigenous organizations in apprenticeship modernization, integrating social assistance employment services into the Employment Ontario system and transforming employment services.
  • Working with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and key Indigenous tourism organizations in developing and implementing a new tourism strategy.
  • Supporting the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) to enhance opportunities for Indigenous people around entrepreneurship, business reconciliation, exporting and innovation.
  • Through the New Relationship Fund:
    • Supporting the participation of Indigenous communities and organizations in meaningful consultation and engagement with government and the private sector on land and resource matters
    • Increasing economic development and skills training opportunities and enabling long-term lands and resource planning in participating Indigenous communities
  • Through the Indigenous Economic Development Fund:
    • Breaking down the economic barriers facing Indigenous people across Ontario including lack of access to capital, limited employment/skills training opportunities and community capacity challenges
    • Supporting job training, growing Aboriginal businesses, supporting Indigenous women and youth entrepreneurs, and developing innovative and community-based approaches to economic development

Improving quality of life

  • Working with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to influence federal policies and operational approaches related to drinking water on First Nation reserves.
  • Collaborating with ministries and Indigenous partners to inform policies, legislation and programs that improve the quality of life for Indigenous people in Ontario, including in areas of child and family services, health, mental health, long-term care, education and justice.
  • Supporting government commitments that address community safety and well-being of Indigenous peoples including:
    • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and other ministries, in delivering on the investment of $3.8 billion in mental health and addictions.
    • The Ministry of the Solicitor General in the implementation of the recently passed Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019 and the development of Regulations that will enable First Nation policing in Ontario.
  • Continuing to work across ministries to address the recommendations from the Seven Youth Inquest that were directed at the province to support the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous students who attend school in Thunder Bay.
  • Continuing to assess and review implications and opportunities of federal legislation, policies and commitments on Indigenous communities and organizations in Ontario.
  • Providing advice and analysis across ministries with Indigenous partners relating to rights and governance of First Nations and Métis.
  • Providing advice relating to federal rights-related policies and legislation, and technical support in federally-led self-government discussions or negotiations regarding provincial responsibilities and interests.
  • Working with provincial, federal and Indigenous partners, to lead the development and implementation of protocols and supporting guides, tools, and training which improve government response to social emergencies in First Nation communities.
  • Coordinate and/or support government response to the social emergencies in First Nations communities, working with the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC), Indigenous partners, and federal government departments.
  • Tracking and monitoring natural disasters and critical infrastructure failures in First Nations communities in collaboration with the PEOC.
  • Engage federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners on practical opportunities that will improve socio-economic conditions for First Nations in the north, including water quality, energy transmission, Ring of Fire, employment development, and health and mental health.
  • Supporting Indigenous communities to improve community social and economic conditions through the planning, renovation or construction of Indigenous community infrastructure projects. Eligible capital projects include on- and off- reserve community centres, learning facilities, business hubs and health facilities that enhance the quality of life for Indigenous peoples.

Meeting Ontario’s legal obligations

  • Working with ministries, Indigenous communities, municipalities and industry to ensure consultation obligations are understood and met, including:
    • Working across government, to lead and develop operational guidance, tools, training and other supports which address the day-to-day needs of ministries in meeting the duty to consult, and which support consistent and coordinated engagement with Indigenous partners on policy and program initiatives.
  • Researching and assessing 11 current land claim assertions.
  • Continuing to make progress on the 48 claims accepted for negotiation and any new claims accepted for negotiation.
  • Working to carry out Ontario’s commitments in implementing an additional 11 claim settlements that have been successfully negotiated.
  • Working across government, to monitor First Nation community issues and coordinate Ontario’s response.
  • Working with Ministry partners, where possible, to seek negotiated solutions to issues currently under litigation.

Table 1: Ministry Planned Expenditures 2019-20 ($M)

  • Operating: 70.92
  • Capital: 3.50
  • Total: 74.42

Ministry Allocation of 2019-20 Base Spending by Standard Account ($74.4M)

Transfer Payments: $45,900,900

62%

Salaries & Benefits: $16,467,214

22%

Transportation & Communications: $1,023,300

1%

Services (less Recoveries): $10,758,800

15%

Supplies & Equipment: $267,500

0%

Other Transactions: $1,000

0%

Ministry Allocation of 2019-20 Base Spending by Vote Item ($74.4M)

Indigenous Affairs: $57,387,400

77%

Ministry Administration: $12,051,300

16%

Capital: $3,501,000

5%

Land Claims & Self Government: $2,000

0%

Statutory Appropriation: $1,483,014

2%

Highlights of 2018-19 results

IAO is committed to improving outcomes for Indigenous Peoples in Ontario. In 2018-19, the ministry:

  • Supported the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines in signing three resource revenue sharing agreements with Grand Council Treaty #3, Wabun Tribal Council and Mushkegowuk Council that represent 31 Indigenous communities. Resource revenue sharing enables First Nations to share in the economic benefits of forestry and mining operations near their communities.
  • Supported job creation by providing $3 million to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF), an Aboriginal Financial Institution that uses Ministry funds to provide loans and grants to Métis businesses and entrepreneurs in Ontario. Since it began operations in 2012, the MVDF has provided over $23 million in loans and contributions, leveraged over $24 million in additional funding, and helped create or sustain over 420 jobs in Ontario.
  • Increased business opportunities with the provincial government for First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses through the Aboriginal Procurement Program. In the last reporting year, 54 procurements worth over $10.9 million were awarded to eligible businesses.
  • Published and distributed the First Nations Community Economic Development Guide. The Guide is being used across Ontario by First Nations economic development practitioners to capitalize on community economic opportunities, create new jobs and better partnerships, and strengthen First Nation economies.
  • Working with federal and Indigenous partners, IAO developed and signed a formal protocol to clarify and confirm roles and responsibilities in responding to social emergencies. The ministry also developed and implemented three supportive regional-specific response guides.
  • Coordinated Ontario’s response to twelve social emergencies and seven critical infrastructure failures and/or natural disasters.
  • Established a Special Advisor to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs to advise the Minister on economic, social and jurisdictional issues affecting Indigenous communities and serve as a liaison on behalf of the Premier and the Minister with Indigenous communities.
  • Worked with ministries on assessing the impacts and opportunities for Indigenous communities and organizations in the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and programs in a broad range of areas including mental health and addictions, long-term care, and justice.
  • Worked across ministries to coordinate continued progress in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
  • Provided significant support to ministries in assessing and reviewing implications of federal legislation, policies and commitments on Indigenous communities and organizations in Ontario, including:
    • An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages (Bill C-91)
    • An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families (Bill C-92)
    • The proposed Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework
    • Federal commitments to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
  • Supported the completion of the Urban Indigenous Action Plan - an Indigenous-led operational guide for ministries and the broader public sector including municipalities, when developing policies, programs and practices that respond to the needs and priorities of urban Indigenous organizations and communities
  • Worked across ministries to continue to address the recommendations of the Seven Youth Inquest, including submitting Ontario’s annual progress report to the Office of the Chief Coroner. Ontario’s progress report indicated that 30% of the recommendations are completed with 70% in progress.
  • Participated in a technical working group with the MAG, the Mohawks Council of Akwesasne and the Governments of Canada and Quebec, which resulted in consensus on a set of non-binding technical recommendations related to the administration of justice in Akwesasne and the role of the Akwesasne court.
  • Hosted the annual Treaties Recognition Week including facilitating 188 living library events in 64 different communities across three First Nations. This year saw double the number of post-secondary schools involved, and five French school boards also participated for the first time.
  • Provided $14.5 million to 113 projects in 162 communities that created 194 local jobs for Indigenous people through the New Relationship Fund.
  • Disbursed $10 million to 31 recipients in support of increased access to skills training, Indigenous business growth and development, and Indigenous community economic development planning through the Indigenous Economic Development Fund.
  • Provided $3 million to 12 on and off-reserve capital projects, including minor and major renovations as well as new construction of community buildings through the Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program.
  • Coordinated over 40 policies and programs across eight ministries, including co-chairing the Executive Committee to End Violence Against Indigenous Women and the co-development of a performance measurement framework to track progress and outcomes of initiatives aimed at reducing the prevalence of violence against Indigenous women.
  • Facilitated mandatory Indigenous Cultural Competency Training for all Ontario Public Service employees. Since the program launched in February 2018, 35% of Ontario public service employees have been registered for the training which will continue until 2021.
  • Supported the development of an Indigenous-led national public education and awareness campaign to break down stereotypes and stigmas that perpetuate violence against Indigenous women and girls and raise awareness of the issue.

Ministry organization chart

  • Minister
    • Deputy Minister
      • Legal Services Branch
      • Corporate Management Division
        • Corporate Management Branch
        • Strategic Human Resources Business Branch
      • Indigenous Relations and Programs Division
        • Programs and Services Branch
        • Indigenous Relations Branch
      • Negotiations and Reconciliation Division
        • Negotiations Branch
        • Negotiations Branch
      • Strategic Policy and Planning Division
        • Strategic Initiatives Social Policy Branch
        • Strategic Planning and Economic Policy Branch
      • Communications Services Branch
      • Land and Resources I & IT Cluster*

Effective March 31, 2019

*matrix reporting relationshis to OCCIO, MNRF, MECP, OMAFRA and MENDM

Detailed financial information

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Table 2: Combined Operating and Capital Summary by Vote

Votes/ProgramsEstimates 2019-20 $Change from Estimates 2018-19 $%Estimates 2018-19 * $Interim Actuals 2018-19 * $Actuals 2017-18 * $
Operating Expense - Ministry Administration12,051,300(573,800)(4.5)12,625,10014,825,10012,345,172
Operating Expense - Indigenous Affairs57,387,400(27,716,600)(32.6)85,104,00090,354,00084,089,741
Operating Expense - Land Claims and Self-Government Initiatives2,000N/AN/A2,00037,002,0001,110,411,833
Total Operating Expense to be Voted69,440,700(28,290,400)(28.9)97,731,100142,181,1001,206,846,746
Operating Expense - Statutory Appropriations1,483,0141,418,0002,181.165,01465,014158,908
Ministry Total Operating Expense70,923,714(26,872,400)(27.5)97,796,114142,246,1141,207,005,654
Operating Assets - Accounts Receivable1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Total Operating Assets to be Voted1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Ministry Total Operating Assets1,000N/AN/A1,0001,000N/A
Capital Expense - Ministry of Indigenous Affairs3,501,000N/AN/A3,501,0003,401,0003,394,207
Total Capital Expense to be Voted3,501,000N/AN/A3,501,0003,401,0003,394,207
Ministry Total Capital Expense3,501,000N/AN/A3,501,0003,401,0003,394,207
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)74,424,714(26,872,400)(26.5)101,297,114145,647,1141,210,399,861

* Estimates and Actuals for prior fiscal years are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure.

Historical trend analysis

Historic Trend Analysis DataActuals 2016-17 $Actuals 2017-18 $Estimates 2018-19* $Estimates 2019-20 $
Ministry Total Operating and Capital Including Consolidation and Other Adjustments (not including Assets)127,711,6631,210,399,861101,297,11474,424,714
 N/A848%-92%-27%

*Estimates and Actuals for prior fiscal years are re-stated to reflect any changes in ministry organization and/or program structure.

For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs incurred expenses totalling $1.21 billion - an increase of over 848% over 2016-17 Actuals. This significant difference year-over-year is the result of accrued liabilities associated with the commitment to settle a number of Indigenous land-related claims.

The decrease to IAO’s budget in 2019-20 is mainly due to prioritizing programs and projects as part of the ministry’s modernization plan and the conclusion of one-time investments in 2018-19.

For additional financial information, see:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/expenditure-estimates
https://www.ontario.ca/page/public-accounts-ontario-2016-17
https://www.ontario.ca/page/public-accounts-ontario-2017-18
http://budget.ontario.ca/2019/contents.html

Appendix: 2018-19 annual report

The Ministry of Indigenous Affairs overview

In 2018-19, the ministry played a leading role in strategic Indigenous policy for Ontario, spearheading cross-government initiatives that improved outcomes for Indigenous people, led the provincial negotiation of Indigenous land claims, and supported economic development for Indigenous partners.

2018-19 Results

In 2018-19 the ministry took steps to develop a robust fiscal strategy to deliver on government’s priorities while continuing to restore accountability and trust. The ministry worked with Indigenous partners to reduce red tape and administrative costs, to enable renewed focus on delivering programs and services that make a difference in the lives of Indigenous people. The ministry achieved the following results:

  • Collaborated with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to work with and challenge the federal government to make sure that First Nation communities have safe, sustainable drinking water.
  • Worked with the MECP to inform the government’s Environment Plan, which highlights working with Indigenous communities on the remediation of mercury contaminated sediments in the St. Clair and English Wabigoon Rivers, supporting connecting Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario to Ontario’s clean electricity grid, and supporting the efforts of Indigenous communities to integrate climate action into local plans and initiatives for community power, economic development, health and sustainability. The plan also commits to improving data and information, informed by Indigenous Traditional Knowledge where offered, on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage from forests, the changing landscape and permafrost.
  • Established a Special Advisor to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs to advise the Minister on economic, social and jurisdictional issues affecting Indigenous communities and serve as a liaison on behalf of the Premier and the Minister with Indigenous communities.
  • Advised ministries on engagement and consultation with Indigenous communities for a range of provincial policy initiatives and legislation.
  • Worked with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and First Nation communities and organizations on tobacco regulation by supporting projects to explore on-reserve approaches to tobacco regulation undertaken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation.
  • Supported the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) and MOF on development of the province’s policy and legislative framework for the legalization of recreational cannabis, which includes flexibility for First Nations to make decisions related to authorizing retail stores on reserves and requesting a ban of deliveries from the Ontario Cannabis Store. Ontario’s cannabis legislation also includes flexibility to accommodate community-specific approaches on-reserve by including authority for agreements related to cannabis regulation with First Nation communities.
  • Supported MAG and other partner ministries in conducting engagement and information sharing with Indigenous communities and organizations on the legalization of cannabis, including undertaking discussions with interested communities to explore approaches to cannabis regulation that advance mutual priorities.
  • Hosted the annual Treaties Recognition Week including facilitating 188 living library events in 64 different communities across three First Nations. This year, the number of post-secondary schools involved doubled and five French school boards also participated for the first time.

Promoting economic opportunity

  • Provided $14.5 million in funding to 113 projects representing 162 communities through the New Relationship Fund. This Fund contributed to increased Indigenous community capacity to participate in land and resource consultation with government and the private sector and provided support to Indigenous communities to take advantage of local economic opportunities. As a result of this funding, 194 local jobs were created for Indigenous people.
  • Through the Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF), IAO:
    • Supported six Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) with a government investment of $6 million to increase access to loans and financing for Aboriginal businesses and Indigenous entrepreneurs through the Business and Community Fund.
    • Supported eight projects through the Regional Partnership Grant Program to increase access to skills training and financing for Indigenous people and entrepreneurs on a regional and province-wide basis.
    • Supported 17 projects through the Economic Diversification Grant Program to support Indigenous communities in broadening their economic base through planning and other economic development activities.
      • A project example is the 2018-19 Regional Partnership Grant Program grant to Supercom Industries LLP to equip up to 244 trainees with the skills required to gain employment with the construction of the East-West Tie project being led by NextBridge Infrastructure.
    • Supported the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to negotiate and sign three resource revenue sharing agreements in the mining and forestry sectors with Grand Council Treaty #3, Wabun Tribal Council and Mushkegowuk Council representing 31 Indigenous communities. Resource revenue sharing enables First Nations to share in the economic benefits of forestry and mining operations near their communities.
    • Supported job creation by providing $3 million to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund, an Aboriginal Financial Institution that uses Ministry funds to provide loans and grants to Métis businesses and entrepreneurs in Ontario. Since it began operations in 2012, the MVDF has provided over $23 million in loans and contributions, leveraged over $24 million in additional funding, and helped create or sustain over 420 jobs in Ontario.
    • Supported the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines in the development and implementation of operational strategies, guidance and options related to consultation and community identification in the Ring of Fire development area.
    • In addition to working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Pikangikum’s involvement in forest management and following IAO’s work on youth community wellness as the community emerged from social crisis, IAO was able to support a proposal developed by youth in the community to purchase a portable sawmill. This project will enable youth to learn about the production of lumber for local and regional markets and will provide direct work experience and business planning training for youth between the ages of 18 - 30 in the community.
    • Increased business opportunities with the provincial government for First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses through the Aboriginal Procurement Program (APP). The APP has been used for 54 procurements, resulting in over $10.9 million awarded in contracts to eligible businesses.
    • Collaborated with the federal government to fund and support an Ontario case study for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) global research project, "Linking Indigenous Communities with Regional Development." The final report, which will be released in June 2019, will outline ways to increase Indigenous participation in regional economic development strategies, with a focus on improving access to capital, business innovation, renewable energy, partnerships and tourism.
    • Published and distributed the First Nations Community Economic Development Guide. The Guide is being used across Ontario by First Nations economic development practitioners to capitalize on community economic opportunities, create new jobs and better partnerships, and strengthen First Nation economies.

Improved quality of life

The ministry continued to work to close the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by working with other ministries in the development of policies, programs and initiatives that address the unique needs of and provide support for Indigenous people in a range of areas, including education, health and wellness, children and youth, poverty reduction, social assistance, seniors and justice.

  • The Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program;
    • Supported Indigenous community infrastructure projects by providing approximately $3 million, including $1.7 million to support six projects for new construction developments to improve access to health and wellness services on and off-reserve.
    • Supported Whitefish River First Nation to construct an on-reserve licensed childcare centre, which led to 23 full-time construction jobs and two full-time post-construction positions in the community.
  • Along with the Office of Women’s Issues and seven Indigenous partners, IAO led the whole-of-government approach to combat the disproportionately high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls and eliminate root causes of violence. The ministry:
    • Provided leadership and oversight of the provincial governance structure that oversees the implementation of initiatives to lower the prevalence of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
    • Co-developed a performance measurement framework to track progress and outcomes of government funded initiatives under the Long-Term Strategy to End Violence Against Indigenous Women (2016-2019).
    • Supported the development of an Indigenous-led pan-Canadian prevention and awareness campaign to break down stereotypes and stigmas that perpetuate violence against Indigenous women and girls and raise awareness of the issue.
  • Working with federal and Indigenous partners, IAO developed and signed a formal protocol to clarify and confirm roles and responsibilities in responding to social emergencies.
  • Coordinated Ontario’s response to twelve social emergencies and seven critical infrastructure failures and/or natural disasters.
  • Facilitated a year-long collaboration between the OCAD University and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) which resulted in a showcase of Indigenous culture and history.
  • IAO continues to lead the implementation of the Indigenous Cultural Competency Training for the Ontario Public Service (OPS) using the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program. All OPS employees will be registered in the training by 2021.
    • The training addresses the pervasive effects of colonization and aims to ensure that public servants have increased capacity and knowledge to work with Indigenous communities and leaders to develop and deliver policies, programs and services.
    • To date, approximately 35% of OPS employees have been registered in the program.
    • A bi-annual data report was completed in September 2018 and found that 83% of participants indicated they would use what they learned during the training in their daily work.
    • A second bi-annual report is currently being completed.
  • Worked with ministries on assessing the impacts and opportunities for Indigenous communities and organizations in the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and programs in a broad range of areas including mental health and addictions, long-term care, and justice.
  • Provided significant support to ministries in assessing and reviewing implications of federal legislation, policies and commitments on Indigenous communities and organizations in Ontario, including:
    • An Act Respecting Indigenous Languages (Bill C-91)
    • An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families (Bill C-92)
    • The proposed Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework
    • Federal commitments to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
  • Supported the completion of the Urban Indigenous Action Plan - an Indigenous-led operational guide for ministries and the broader public sector including municipalities, when developing policies, programs and practices that respond to the needs and priorities of urban Indigenous organizations and communities
  • Worked across ministries to coordinate continued progress in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
  • Worked across ministries to continue to address the recommendations of the Seven First Nations Youth Inquest, including submitting Ontario’s annual progress report to the Office of the Chief Coroner. Ontario’s progress report indicated that 30% of the recommendations are completed with 70% in progress.
  • Participated in a technical working group with the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Mohawks Council of Akwesasne and the governments of Canada and Quebec, which resulted in consensus on a set of non-binding technical recommendations related to the administration of justice in Akwesasne and the role of the Akwesasne court.

Meeting Ontario’s legal obligation

The ministry continued to address Ontario’s outstanding legal obligations on land claims and land-related disputes with Indigenous people with the goal of achieving lasting settlements through a non-litigated negotiation process.

  • In 2018, IAO settled the Williams Treaties First Nations litigation. Total financial compensation paid was $1.11 billion ($444 million by Ontario). In addition, each First Nation may add up to 11,000 acres of land to their reserve land base subject to Canada’s Additions to Reserve/Reserve Creation Policy. The agreement included recognition of the First Nations’ continuing treaty harvesting rights in certain areas and a commitment to continue to work together to implement these rights. A commitment by Canada and Ontario to provide an oral and written statement of apology to the Williams Treaties First Nations was also part of the settlement.
  • In 2018, IAO indexed the Mercury Disability Fund benefits to inflation retroactively and going forward. Indexed payments to beneficiaries began in November 2018.
  • Ontario transferred lands to Missanabie Cree First Nation under a 2011 Land Transfer Agreement so that Missanabie Cree could work with Canada to set those lands apart as reserve lands. In 2018, Canada completed the final steps providing a reserve land base for this previously landless First Nation.
  • IAO has led the coordination of Ontario’s response to community issues across ministries, including the facilitation of supports for First Nations, funding a Regional Emergency Summit, encouraging the active participation of the federal government in responding to the Summit’s recommendations.

Table 3: Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures 2018-19

 Ministry Interim Actual Expenditures ($M) 2018-19 *
Operating142.2
Capital3.4
Staff Strength ** (as of March 31, 2019)156.28

* Interim actuals reflect the numbers presented in the 2019 Ontario Budget.

** Ontario Public Service Full-Time Equivalent positions.