Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Access to Information review’s final report including “What we Heard report on Indigenous Consultations

December 13, 2022

Treasury Board of Canada: Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, tabled the Government’s report on the Access to Information Review in Parliament: “Access to information (ATI) is essential for our democracy and must reflect all citizen’s expectations for accessible, timely and trustworthy information.

Given the importance of this review, the Government consulted broadly with Canadians, Indigenous peoples, experts, and key stakeholders whose views will help to shape next steps.

The report outlines key areas of focus to improve service to Canadians, increase trust and transparency in institutions and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It will inform further work to help us create a stronger, more robust, and more reliable ATI system for all Canadians.

We are committed to strengthening access to information by building on the first legislative reforms to the act in over 30 years with the coming into force of C-58. I welcome the views of Parliament on the way forward.”

Associated Links


Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the President
Treasury Board of Canada

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone: 613-369-9400
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9SCT (1-855-827-9728)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 613-369-9371

What We Heard report on Indigenous Consultations

from Executive Summary”

This report summarizes input received from Indigenous peoples as part of the review of the federal access to information regime (ATI Review). It includes input from the Bill C-58 consultations in 2017, as well as input from participation in the initial engagement stages of the Privacy Act Modernization led by the Department of Justice, and further input from Indigenous peoples and organizations during the ATI Review’s engagement process from spring to fall of 2022.

The engagement process prioritized inclusion and respect and was run on a parallel track to the rest of the ATI Review’s engagement. Also, to better coordinate efforts and reduce engagement fatigue, the Department of Justice and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) recognize the importance of collaborating on common issues and implications under both Acts as appropriate, to improve the ATI and Privacy regimes for Indigenous peoples. In line with the Government’s commitment to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UN Declaration Act), TBS offered technical and financial assistance to support participation of Indigenous peoples.

Throughout the engagement period, three key themes emerged: Indigenous data sovereignty, Indigenous right of access and the definition of ‘aboriginal government’ in the Access to Information Act (ATIA).

  • Indigenous Data Sovereignty: A priority of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples is to have control over records and data pertaining to them and support for Indigenous data sovereignty initiatives.
  • Indigenous Right of Access: The operational and legislative barriers preventing the right of access to important records for Indigenous peoples.
  • Definition of ‘aboriginal government’: The ATIA’s current definition of an ‘aboriginal government’ is limited and excludes most Indigenous governments and organizations.

These key themes are presented and further discussed in this report along with the summarized feedback from the Indigenous engagement process.

The report concludes with recommendations for engagement based on input received from Indigenous peoples during the Indigenous-specific engagement process.