Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Advancing reconciliation with a new Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation

May 2, 2024

NationTalk: Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples is our most important one. As partners with the original inhabitants and stewards of Canada’s lands and waters, we know that we need to make good on our commitments and responsibilities. This starts with trust, transparency, and accountability.

As part of Canada’s constitutional framework, Modern Treaties have been fundamental to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples for almost half a century. They promote strong and sustainable Indigenous communities, while affirming Indigenous rights over lands, waters, and resources. For over 20 years, Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners have been calling for improved independent oversight so that the federal government is held accountable for its obligations under Modern Treaties.

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was joined by Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners and Self-Governing Indigenous Governments at the second Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum, to announce the creation of an independent oversight body headed by a new Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation.

The creation of this new role is a major milestone and transformative shift in the Crown-Indigenous Modern Treaty relationship. The Commissioner will work to hold the Government of Canada accountable for its Modern Treaty obligations and advance key priorities. Additionally, the Commissioner will help ensure the federal government is held accountable for living up to the commitments in Modern Treaties and, more importantly, the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government relationships they embody. Budget 2024 will be providing $10.6 million over four years to support the functions of the Commissioner and to stand up the office.

Today’s announcement will help to ensure lasting accountability and fairness for Indigenous Peoples. We are learning from the mistakes of the past and creating a strong foundation for our ongoing work together to address challenges faced by Indigenous Modern Treaty and Self-Government Partners across Canada. Everyone deserves what they need to grow and succeed on their own terms. Reconciliation will remain at the forefront of everything we do and will continue to be a key pillar of our work to build a fairer Canada for everyone.


“We’re listening to our Modern Treaty Partners. To honour our agreements with Indigenous Peoples, we need to ensure that trust, transparency, and accountability remain at the heart of our efforts to build renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships. By implementing our commitments, we’re taking an important step on the path of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements are delivering real results for communities – I have seen that power firsthand. But Canada still has work to do to live up to our promises. The creation of a new Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation as an Agent of Parliament will hopefully be a transformational shift toward a future where partners can be assured Canada will fulfill all of our treaty obligations, in the spirit of reconciliation.

The Hon. Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Quick Facts

  • The Intergovernmental Leaders’ Forum is comprised of the Prime Minister, ministers, and leadership from 30 Modern Treaty holders and Self-Governing Indigenous Governments.
  • Participants at today’s meeting included:
    • Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
    • Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
    • Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
    • Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
    • Harjit S. Sajjan, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
    • Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage
  • Following consultations with partners, concluding June 28, 2024, the legislative proposal to establish the Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation will be introduced in Parliament.
  • The proposed Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation would take shape as an Agent of Parliament. The Commissioner’s role was co-developed with Modern Treaty Partners to ensure independent, credible, effective, and sustainable oversight of Modern Treaty implementation, and hold the federal government accountable to Parliament for Modern Treaty objectives, obligations, and relationships.
  • The Commissioner must hold the confidence of Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners and thus consultation with Indigenous Modern Treaty Partners will be an integral part of the legislative and appointment process.
  • The Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation will:
    • Conduct independent and expert oversight of any activity carried out by the Government of Canada that relates to the implementation of Modern Treaties.
    • Seek to ensure the timely and effective implementation of Modern Treaties.
    • Report to Parliament to hold the Government of Canada accountable for its Modern Treaty obligations.
    • Be independent, objective, and impartial in the discharge of their mandate, and have expert knowledge of Modern Treaties.
    • Have the authority to require departments to provide the information necessary to carry out its mandate.
    • Commit to uphold the spirit and intent of the agreements.
  • The establishment of the Commissioner for Modern Treaty Implementation contributes to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and advances implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan.
  • In Budget 2024, the Government of Canada proposed a $9.4 billion package of measures to create jobs, unlock opportunities, and build more housing and infrastructure for Indigenous Peoples. Learn more.

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