On August 28, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will be dissolved and replaced by two new ministries. The decision follows a recommendation from the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that called for the INAC department to be split into two entities. Similarly, the decicion reflects the PMO's view of the department as a colonial structure which currently does not meet the needs of Inuit and Metis.
The two new ministries are the Ministry of Crown-Indigeneous Relations and Northern Affairs, led by Minister Carolyn Bennet, and former health Minister Fane Philpott is taking on the role as Minister of Indigenous Services. The purpose of the two ministries is to have one focusing on a new relationship with Indigenous people, and the other providing services for all First Nations.
CanGEA extends its support to the establishment of the new ministries and the better fulfillment of the obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This is an innovative opportunity that will allow CanGEA and its members to work cooperatively with the Services Minister and First Nation groups to continue the development of geothermal projects throughout the country, while respecting and promoting the rights of First Nations throughout the country.