Canadian Constitution Act gives federal parliament legislative authority over "Indians, and Lands reserved for Indians"
1867 The British North America Act—also known as the Constitution Act—is a major part of Canada’s Constitution. Among other things, this Act contains a list of those classes of subjects over which Parliament has legislative authority. Listed at #24: Indians, and Lands reserved for Indians. It is worth pointing out explicitly that this assigns native issues to the federal government, rather than to the provincial government, definitively separating “Indians” from other “Canadians,” in terms of the way that they are governed.
The Constitution Act left responsibility for Indians, and the Lands reserved for Indians, in the hands of the Secretary of State for the Provinces Responsible for Indian Affairs. Since then, responsibility for “Indians” (and their lands) has passed from the Minister of the Interior to the Indian Affairs Department, then to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and finally to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, which has gone by the title of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada since 2011.
Government of Canada. (1867). The Constitution Act. Retrieved from https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/30---31-vict-c-3/latest/30---31-vict-c-3.html.
Constitution Act, 1867. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Act,_1867.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aboriginal_Affairs_and_Northern_Development_Canada.