Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is splitting up the Indigenous file between ministers Jane Philpott and Carolyn Bennett, as part of Monday's cabinet shuffle that also saw rookie MPs Seamus O'Regan and Ginette Petitpas Taylor promoted to the front bench.
Ultimately, the success of the split hangs on how open Ottawa is to change.
O'Regan says since coming out of rehab less than two years ago, his life has turned around. She has recently gone through a budget cycle and was close to decisions related to Budget 2017 in addition to the intricacies of the heavy negotiations with the provinces and territories across a host of ministries.
Kukpi7 Wayne Christian of the Splatsin First Nation acknowledged that Secwepemc Kukukpi7 are committed to ensuring that they do their share of the work to implement the changes needed on their end of the spectrum.
"It strengthens and empowers the First Nations more, and creates more of a collaboration than a dependence", said Sheila North Wilson, chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. The pair of ministers will also be looked to as the ones to get the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls back on track after critics have called for a reset. But such changes would likely need Manitoba's approval, and provinces are always tired of Ottawa instead cutting back funding and leaving them with the costs.
The PM is taking a competent minister and giving her more responsibility and an even more daunting task in an area where the government is floundering. "Certainly, we wish her the best and will continue to make sure we hold her to account".
If there's one thing the Trudeau government knows how to do, it's employ symbolism. "A lot of the funding that reaches our communities is inadequate".
Pallister was not available for an interview Monday, as he was attending a funeral.
Carolyn Bennett, now Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, becomes Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.
Foote has been on a leave of absence from the public services portfolio since the spring, and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has been handling the file.
The eventual creation of two separate ministries to replace the existing department will involve legislation, Trudeau said, noting Bennett's work over the last two years has brought his government to the point where it can explore changes.
She added that poor health outcomes were a "direct result of government policies in our collective past, including the policy of residential schools" and that the way to improve Indigenous health was by focusing on social inequities such as housing, employment, education, community infrastructure and more.
"There's a sense we have pushed the creaky old structures around about as far as they can go.it could not deliver the reconciliation that we need", Trudeau told reporters.