The federal government is planning to create a new agent of Parliament to oversee modern treaty implementation, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will ensure Ottawa is held to account no matter who is in power.

He announced the plan to appoint a commissioner for modern treaty implementation Tuesday in Gatineau, Que., at a second annual meeting of self-governing Indigenous governments.

"This is a lasting commitment to be a better treaty partner," he said. 

"To honour our agreements with Indigenous Peoples, we need to ensure that trust, transparency and accountability remain at the heart of our efforts to build renewed nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationships."

The government is planning to wrap up consultations on the role by late June, table legislation sometime after that and budget $10.6 million over four years to support the commissioner's work. 

Chief Robert Louie of Westbank First Nation in British Columbia spoke alongside Trudeau at the morning event.

He said the move is an important step forward in renewing Crown-Indigenous relations.

"That's fantastic and welcome news," he said.

"There is still much room for improvement on how Canada organizes itself internally to support the implementation of the inherent right to self government."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2024.