The mandate of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development includes all areas covered by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (formally referred to as the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development) as well as the major agencies that report to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. Major agencies which fall within the Committee’s purview include:
The Committee can pursue self-initiated studies in any aspect of the Department’s management and operation, as well as any programs or policy areas administered by the Department. Traditionally, the Department has taken responsibility primarily for on-reserve registered First Nations people, Inuit and northern or territorial affairs. In turn, the Committee has primarily considered legislation and issues related to these populations and subjects, but can also examine issues related to off-reserve registered and non-registered First Nations people and the Métis. It holds public meetings and considers evidence from witnesses. At the end of a study, the Committee typically reports on its findings and makes recommendations to the federal government. The Committee may request a Government response within 120 days.
The Committee’s mandate also includes reviewing and reporting on matters referred to it by the House of Commons. These activities include examining matters relating to government spending in the Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates, proposed bills which fall within its mandate, reports tabled in Parliament, and the review of Orders in Council appointees.