First Nations and Border Crossing: Engagement 2017
Current status: Closed
The engagement started in January 2017 and closed on August 31, 2017.
Report of the Minister's Special Representative
On this page
The Government of Canada recognizes the impact the Canada-United States (U.S.) border can have on First Nation communities, particularly those that are closest to the border.
Acting on a recommendation made by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada appointed Fred Caron as the Minister's Special Representative (MSR) in December 2016 to:
- engage with First Nations in border communities to gain a better understanding of their unique perspectives
- explore solutions to the Canada-U.S. border crossing challenges they face
- produce a report by August 31, 2017
The MSR will engage with:
- the Assembly of First Nations
- First Nation communities across Canada
The MSR's findings will inform the work of an inter-departmental committee including representatives from:
- Public Safety Canada: responsible for overall policy leadership and coordination in border management in the Government of Canada
- Canada Border Services Agency: responsible for providing integrated border services that support national security and public safety, and for facilitating the free flow of persons and goods
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: responsible for overall policy leadership for immigration, refugee, citizenship and passport programs
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada: responsible for the registration of individuals under the Indian Act and for issuing documentary evidence of registration
- Transport Canada: supports the efficient, safe, sustainable, and secure movement of goods and people across the Canada-U.S. border
The purpose of the engagement is to:
- obtain a comprehensive picture of the unique Canada-U.S border crossing challenges faced by First Nations
- hear about the impacts on First Nation communities
- collect views on potential solutions
The MSR's report will help the inter-departmental committee develop a plan with practical options to make it easier for First Nation community members to cross the Canada-U.S. border and maintain closer cultural and family ties to Native American communities in the U.S., while respecting the need to maintain national security and public safety.
How to participate
You can participate in 3 ways:
- attend a meeting hosted by a First Nation organization (some by invitation only)
- send an email with your responses to the questions in the discussion guide
- send by mail a letter with your responses to the questions in the discussion guide
When and where
|January 17, 2017||Assembly of First Nations Special Representative on Border Security and Border Crossing||Ottawa|
|January 25, 2017||Mohawk Council of Akwesasne||Akwesasne|
|February 22, 2017||Assembly of First Nations Executive Committee||Ottawa|
|April 19, 2017||Quebec First Nation border communities, hosted by the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador||Montreal|
|April 20, 2017||Iroquois Caucus||Kahnawake|
|May 24-26, 2017||First Nations in British Columbia, hosted by the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council||Terrace, Osoyoos and Vancouver|
|May 30, 2017||First Nations in northwestern Ontario, hosted by the Couchiching First Nation||Fort Frances|
|June 6, 2017||First Nations in southern Ontario, hosted by the Walpole Island First Nation||Walpole Island|
|June 14, 2017||Saskatchewan First Nations, hosted by the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council||Regina|
|June 15, 2017||Southern Manitoba First Nations, hosted by the Southern Chiefs' Organization||Headingly|
|July 6, 2017||Assembly of First Nations Working Group on Border Security and Border Crossing||Niagara Falls|
|July 10, 2017||Mi'gmaq First Nations of New Brunswick, hosted by the Mi'gmaw'el Tplu'tagnn Inc.||Miramichi|
|July 11, 2017||Passamaquoddy Recognition Group||Fredericton|
|July 11, 2017||The Maliseet Nation in New Brunswick||Fredericton|
|July 17, 2017||Six Nations of the Grand River||Ohsweken|
|July 26, 2017||Yukon and northern British Columbia First Nations||Whitehorse|
|August 14, 2017||Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee||Gatineau|
|August 16, 2017||Stoney Nakoda/Tsuut'ina Tribal Council||Calgary|
|August 16, 2017||Blackfoot Confederacy||Calgary|
- Canada implements measures to address Canada – United-States border-crossing issues for First Nations
- Report of the Minister's Special Representative
- First Nations and border crossing: discussion guide
- Border Crossing Issues and the Jay Treaty: Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples report PDF Version (530 Kb, 17 pages)
- Government of Canada response to the Senate Committee report PDF Version (511 Kb, 2 pages)
- Minister Bennett appoints a Minister's Special Representative to engage with First Nations on Canada-U.S. border crossing issues
Minister's Special Representative
Minister's Special Representative
On December 16, 2016, Fred Caron was appointed as the Minister's Special Representative (MSR) to lead engagement with concerned First Nation communities to obtain a comprehensive picture of the Canada-United States (US) border crossing challenges that they face, as well as their views on potential solutions.
Mr. Caron, who is fluently bilingual, is the former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (2004-2010). Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat at the Privy Council Office (1996-2004).
Mr. Caron obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the Faculty of Law at McGill University in 1975 and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1978. In 1992, Mr. Caron was appointed Queen's Counsel in recognition of his exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. He has extensive knowledge of Aboriginal law as well as of constitutional and international law and, over two decades, held various counsel and senior leadership positions at Justice Canada.
Mr. Caron was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and has received a number of honours as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces' Regular and Reserve components.
In the past six years, Mr. Caron has served as Chief Federal Negotiator on a number of Indigenous files including: rights issues respecting Kanasetake (Oka); Labrador/ Quebec Innu overlap claims; the Qalipu enrolment process; the Dundee specific claim and Akwesasne self-government and lands agreement; Nunavut devolution; and a litigation settlement with Nunavut Tungavik Inc.