Department of Indian Affairs : Program Reference Centre and Treaties and Historical Research Centre

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Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Indian Affairs
Department of Indian Affairs : Program Reference Centre and Treaties and Historical Research Centre
RG 10 B 8 ai
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
In 1755, the British Crown established the British Indian Department, and responsibility for Indian Affairs rested on the Superintendents of Indian Affairs from 1755 to 1841. After 1843, the Governors General held control of Indian Affairs, but usually delegated much of their responsibility to a series of Civil Secretaries. In 1860, the responsibility for Indian affairs was transferred from the government of Great Britain to the Province of Canada and the responsibility for Indian Affairs was given to the Crown Lands Department Commissions Responsible for Indian Affairs. The responsibility for Indian Affairs rested with various government departments between 1873 and 1966. The Minister of the Interior also held the position of Superintendent General of Indian Affairs after the Indian Affairs Department was established in 1880. From 1950 to 1965, the Indian Affairs portfolio was carried by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In October 1966, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was created. Today, the department is known as Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Under the Program Services Directorate, the Program Reference Centre acted as a program repository for the collection and dissemination of statistical, genealogical, and related historical information pertaining to the cultural, social, and economic life of Indian people. As well as being a repository for published and unpublished reference material, the Centre also housed the departmental microform copy reference collection of paylists within its Genealogical and Archival Research Unit. The Centre ceased to exist in the mid 1980s.
The Treaties and Historical Research Centre, under the Research Directorate, provided research services to persons working on behalf of Native organizations, academics, and the general public. The Centre also provided historical background for current policies and issues and advisory and liaison services to departmental officials on matters pertaining to fulfilment of the government's lawful obligations to Indian people. The office became known as the Claims and Historical Research Centre in the early 1990s.
This collection consists of an eclectic collection of diverse reference tools and miscellaneous records collected and used to assist in answering inquiries at the Program Reference Centre and Treaties and Historical Research Centre.