Benefits and Rights

Historical treaties signed with the Crown (Canada) as well as other old and new legislation guarantee certain rights and benefits to Aboriginal people living in Canada.  Aboriginal rights are also protected in Canada's Constitution.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is responsible for fulfilling the Government of Canada's obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The Department also deals with specific rights and benefits for First Nation people such as "Indian Status", and, in some cases, managing band moneys or individual estates.


The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced on June 17, 2011 that any decisions made or actions taken by band councils and the federal government, made under or pursuant to the Indian Act, would now be subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act. This applied immediately to the federal government with the passage of An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act in June 2008.

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has tabled a Report to Parliament on the Readiness of First Nation Communities and Organizations to Comply with the Canadian Human Rights Act.

What Information is Available?

In this section, find out about AANDC's role in current human rights issues and proposed legislation, including property rights for women living on-reserve. Read about the Department's programs for living and decedent estates and the management of band moneys or find out more about Indian status - if you are eligible and how to register.

Additional Information