On May 18, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his new Cabinet. Minister John Duncan continues in this portfolio. However, the Minister's title and the department's name are changing from Indian Affairs and Northern Development to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. This change has no impact on the mandate of the department or the Minister's statutory responsibilities.
The new title of the Minister and the department's new name better reflect the scope of the Minister's responsibilities with respect to First Nations, Inuit and Métis. It is also in keeping with practices of the department as, in recent years, the responsibilities of the department have expanded to include and better serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. In 2004, the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians became part of the department. The Office is responsible for maintaining and strengthening the Government of Canada's relations with organizations representing Métis, non-status Indians and urban Aboriginal people. The Inuit Relations Secretariat was also created in 2004 to serve as the Government of Canada's primary point of contact for collaboration with Inuit organizations, and to be an internal government source for information, advice and expertise on Inuit matters. In 2008, the department took on responsibilities associated with Indian Residential Schools.
Effective June 13, 2011, for general public use, the new applied title for the department under the Government of Canada's Federal Identity Program (FIP) is Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). The department will begin utilizing the new applied title in a practical, phased-in manner in the weeks ahead.