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Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP)

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PPGPortal > Home > Concept Dictionary > R > Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP)

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) 

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples investigated government policy with respect to Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples, and made recommendations for future direction.

(Indian and Northern Affairs Canada ( , and RCAP report )


The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) investigated government policy with respect to the “original historical nations of this country”. The commission was established in 1991 with the appointment of four Aboriginal and three non-Aboriginal commissioners who were to investigate the issues and advise the government on their findings.

In describing the process, the commissioners write:

*“We held 178 days of public hearings, visited 96 communities, consulted dozens of experts, commissioned scores of research studies, reviewed numerous past inquiries and reports. Our central conclusion can be summarized simply: The main policy direction, pursued for more than 150 years, first by colonial then by Canadian governments, has been wrong”.

In October 1996, the RCAP commissioners released their 5 volume report.

*Each of its five volumes presents the Commission's thoughts and recommendations on a range of interconnected issues. Chapters are devoted to major topics such as treaties, economic development, health, housing, Métis perspectives, and the North. Volume 5 draws all the recommendations together in an integrated agenda for change. The five volumes are entitled

1.Looking Forward, Looking Back

2.Restructuring the Relationship

3.Gathering Strength

4.Perspectives and Realities

5. Renewal: A Twenty-Year Commitment

To access the RCAP report go to:

*excerpts from


Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance