Nova Scotia Archives

Government Administrative Histories

Nova Scotia. Office of Aboriginal Affairs

The post of coordinator of Indian affairs was established in August 1971 in the Department of Public Welfare (now Community Services). The coordinator was responsible for communicating with all other departments having responsibility for or in direct contact with First Nations people. The coordinator was also responsible for communicating with Ottawa and with First Nations people in regard to all matters affecting them. Until 1992 aboriginal affairs were the responsibility of various ministers. In 1993 the Premier became the minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, the coordinator was upgraded to director, and Aboriginal Affairs began to administer financial grants and assistance to First Nations bands and aboriginal organizations. In 1998 a separate and independent Office of Aboriginal Affairs was established, the Premier ceased to be minister and the director was replaced by a deputy minister. In 2000 the deputy minister of aboriginal affairs became chief executive officer of the agency. The object and purpose of Aboriginal Affairs are to facilitate and promote a coordinated approach within government on matters relating to aboriginal people; represent the interests of Nova Scotia in intergovernmental, bilateral and trilateral initiatives and negotiations; and provide research analysis and policy advice on aboriginal issues. In 2015 Aboriginal Affairs assumed responsibility for the aboriginal development fund, formerly assigned to the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

Notes: Authority record based on Department of Public Welfare. Welfare Services in Nova Scotia, 1972; Orders in Council: 93-494 (11 June 1993), 1998-591 (17 Nov. 1998), 2000-337 (16 June 2000), 2015-116 (9 Apr. 2015); Statutes of Nova Scotia: 2001 c. 4.

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