This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Consult the new Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada home page or the new Indigenous Services Canada home page.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) supports First Nation communities in the implementation of strong, effective and sustainable governments. Research has shown that effective governance is the single greatest contributing factor to a community's socio-economic progress and its overall well-being.
Good governance and institutions help First Nation communities to:
Governance structures among First Nation communities are at different stages of maturity and development. Some First Nations have self-government agreements with Canada while others have minimal governance structures. Many First Nations fall somewhere in between.
INAC engages in wide-ranging activities to help support communities in their transition to stronger, more effective governance systems, including:
In addition to these activities, INAC also supports the governance capacity of First Nations through tools and resources for governance.
INAC supports the development of First Nations institutions and governance capacity, while respecting Canada's constitutional and statutory obligations concerning First Nations. INAC oversees the implementation and administration of governance processes under the Indian Act, while at the same time reviewing these processes to respond to new challenges and court decisions such as the landmark Corbiere decision, which extended voting rights to all band members regardless of residency.