Key risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

The Department has a well-defined governance structure with effective risk management practices to address challenges that could keep it from achieving desired outcomes. Key to these risk practices are risk assessments and risk mitigation plans at the corporate, sector, region, program and project level. At the corporate level, the Corporate Risk Profile (CRP) is the primary means of assessing and responding to corporate risks that could keep the Department from carrying out its mandate. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs will update its CRP each year to ensure risk reduction activities are factored in to its planning processes. In this year special attention will also be made to identifying, assessing and responding to transformation risks that arise from the formation of a new department. The table below outlines Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs' three most significant external risks (Environmental Risk, Legal Risk, and Indigenous Relationship Risk) and describes the key risk response strategies for each.

Environmental Risk

There is a risk that the Department will be unable to manage environmental issues and liabilities in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Risk response strategy Link to the Department's Core Responsibility Link to mandate letter(s), government-wide and departmental priorities
This risk will be addressed by:
  • Conducting a comprehensive review of the departmental policy framework for environmental protection and reclamation for mines.
  • Ensuring field inspections are carried out, and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Reviewing the Environmental Review Process and the environmental assessment and regulatory processes to ensure it respects the rights of Indigenous peoples
  • Developing resource management partnership frameworks with territorial and Indigenous groups.
  • Implementing renewable energy projects in northern communities to reduce diesel fuel use.
  • Implementing climate change adaptation programs.
  • Supporting continued assessment and remediation of contaminated sites.
Community and Regional Development Ensure that environmental assessment legislation is amended to enhance the consultation, engagement and participatory capacity of Indigenous groups

Implement the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and support northern communities confronting immediate climate adaption challenges

Advance work on Arctic Leadership model and New Arctic Policy

Legal Risk

There is a risk that the Department will be unable to effectively plan for or respond to legal risks that affect Department operations.

Risk response strategy Link to the Department's Core Responsibilities Link to mandate letter(s), government-wide and departmental priorities
This risk will be addressed by:
  • Resolving litigation using the most appropriate resolution mechanisms (including out-of-court settlements).
  • Monitoring the implementation of legal obligations resulting in increased compliance and reduced litigation.
  • Developing lessons learned based on experiences collecting modern documents. This information will inform procedures both for document retention across the Department and for document collection in the context of litigation. 
  • Upgrading document management and electronic processing software to allow for more efficient document processing.
  • Supporting improved forecasting of advisory and litigation services through the development of risk tools.
  • Ensuring the Department is prepared for upcoming decisions through contingency planning.
  • Proactively strengthening litigation awareness through outreach activities to protect the integrity of Departmental program/policy initiatives under development and to potentially prevent future litigation.
  • Appealing decisions to the right level of court to bring more in-depth attention to the issues and clarity of the law.
Rights and Self Determination

Community and Regional Development
Review of laws, policies
and practices

Work to ensure that dispute resolution mechanisms and litigation are consistent with the resolution of past wrongs, promote cooperation and move towards a recognition of rights approach

Update elements of the treaty relationship to ensure consistency with a recognition of rights approach

Indigenous Relationship Risk

There is a risk that the Department will not renew and sustain strong, productive and respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples, communities, organizations and governments to help fulfill its mandate.

Risk response strategy Link to the Department's Core Responsibilities Link to mandate letter(s), government-wide and departmental priorities
This risk will be addressed by:
  • Working with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatmi (ITK) on a Government of Canada-ITK framework to guide relationship and joint initiatives.
  • Ensuring stakeholders are engaged appropriately and have the opportunity to become involved in the implementation of policy and program commitments, including program reforms.
  • Continuing to work on bilateral partnerships with provinces and Yukon and on tripartite agreements (e.g., in Education, and First Nations Child and Family Services).
  • Developing a Métis Section 35 Framework along with a verifiable Métis membership system.
  • Implementing a new fiscal relationship addressing key fiscal issues including predictability, sustainability and accountability of funding.
  • Carrying out, with advice from the Minister of Justice, in full partnership and consultation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis, a review of laws, policies, and operational practices to ensure that the Crown is fully executing its consultation and accommodation obligations, in accordance with its constitutional and international human rights obligations, including Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
  • Continuing a Joint Policy Review process with Self-governing Indigenous groups (and those Indigenous groups currently pursuing self-governing status) to achieve a mutually satisfactory fiscal relationship which aims to narrow socio-economic gaps between Indigenous groups and the broader Canadian economy.
  • Working with IROs to increase capacity to support transformational change.
  • Increasing efforts in monitoring OGD engagement activities with Indigenous organizations and providing coordination support to both other departments as well as with the organizations themselves.
  • Continuing engagement activities to strengthen collaborative and joint development of policies and programs affecting Indigenous and northern peoples.
  • Clarify governance and accountability relationships.
Rights and Self Determination

Community and Regional Development
Support the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and the establishment of a National Council for Reconciliation

Lead whole of government approach to renewal of nation-to-nation relationship

Increase the number of modern treaties and new self-government agreements

Launch the engagement strategy for a National Reconciliation Framework

Lead further work to address the number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls

Review of laws, policies and practices

Establish a new fiscal
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