Across the country, Indigenous Peoples, non-Indigenous Canadians and the Government are working hard to improve the quality of life of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Together, we are making steady progress—advancing reconciliation and forging a new relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
Since 2015, the Government has made historic investments to help secure a better quality of life for Indigenous Peoples. These investments in housing, early learning and child care, health, mental health and infrastructure have all helped to close the gap between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians—but more work needs to be done.
The same is true when it comes to redressing past wrongs and advancing self-determination. The Government is working closely with Indigenous Peoples to better respond to their priorities, and to better support their plans for self-government, self-determination, and their ongoing work of nation rebuilding.
Budget 2019’s investments will help to advance the important work of reconciliation—for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples, and all Canadians.
Clean Drinking Water
Everyone in Canada should have access to safe, clean drinking water. Since 2015, the Government has invested nearly $2 billion to build new public water systems in First Nations communities, and for repairs and upgrades to existing systems. Since then, more than 80 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted, and the Government is on track to eliminate all of the advisories by March 2021.
Budget 2019 builds on this effort by announcing an additional $739 million over five years, with $184.9 million per year ongoing for urgent repairs to vulnerable water systems, water operator training and other support programs, so that First Nations communities can effectively operate and maintain their public drinking water systems.
Better Services for First Nations and Inuit Children
Jordan’s Principle helps ensure that all First Nations children can access the health, social and educational services they need, when they need them. In 2016, the Government took a new approach to implementing Jordan’s Principle, aimed at reducing the gaps in services between First Nations children and other children in Canada.
To help all First Nations and Inuit children access the social services they need, Budget 2019 would:
- Invest $1.2 billion over three years to continue to help First Nations children access important health and social services including speech therapy, educational supports, medical equipment and mental health services.
- Provide $220 million over five years to provide direct health and educational services to Inuit children so they can access essential health and social services closer to home.
Preserve, Promote and Revitalize Indigenous Languages
Restoring Indigenous languages and cultural traditions is a critical part of recognizing Indigenous identity and strengthening Indigenous communities. This is why the Government is committed to enacting Indigenous languages legislation—co-developed with Indigenous Peoples—to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.
To support the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act, Budget 2019 would invest $333.7 million over the next five years, with $115.7 million per year ongoing, to support Indigenous language revitalization projects, as well as the proposed Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages.
Healthy, Safe and Resilient Indigenous Communities
Budget 2019 also makes targeted investments that would:
- Strengthen the Assisted Living Program, which provides daily living supports to First Nations communities that help people maintain their independence and stay in their own homes and communities, close to their families and friends.
- Provide distinctions-based funding for post-secondary education to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation students better access post-secondary education and succeed during their studies.
- Forgive all outstanding comprehensive claim negotiation loans and reimburse Indigenous governments that have already repaid these loans that were taken out as part of renegotiating modern treaties, giving Indigenous communities the ability to invest in their own priorities.
- Renew and expand the reach of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, with an investment of $50 million over 10 years.
- Improve emergency response on-reserve to better protect First Nations people and communities from risks from wildfires, floods, storms or other severe natural disasters, and invest in infrastructure projects on-reserve that would protect communities from the damaging effects of climate change.
- Support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation entrepreneurs and businesses through the expansion of existing programs like Futurpreneur, as well as the creation of a new Indigenous Growth Fund that would allow all Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including Métis Capital Corporations and others, to support more Indigenous entrepreneurs and more ambitious projects.
Supporting First Nations Priorities
Budget 2019 proposes significant investments to advance priorities identified by First Nations including:
- Funding to forgive and reimburse all comprehensive claim negotiation loans, which will allow communities to reinvest in their priorities.
- $1.2 billion over three years to continue to implement Jordan’s Principle and help ensure that all First Nations children can access the health, social and educational services they need, when they need them.
- $327.5 million over five years to enhance the Post-Secondary Student Support Program while the Government engages with First Nations on long-term First Nation-led post-secondary education models.
- More than $1 billion over five years to improve essential services on-reserve, such as clean drinking water, fire protection, emergency response and supports for residents with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
- Support for a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous language revitalization projects with $333.7 million over five years and $115.7 million ongoing to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages, including First Nations languages.
- $40.0 million over five years to help First Nations research and develop their Specific Claims and a commitment to renew and replenish funding for the Specific Claims Settlement Fund for a further three years.
- Support for strong and successful self-governing First Nations including investments to support a new co-developed collaborative self-government fiscal policy.
- A commitment to escalate funding for core programs and services provided through the 10-year grant to ensure that funding keeps up with key cost drivers effective April 2020.
- Up to $100 million to establish an Indigenous Growth Fund to further encourage investments in Indigenous-led businesses by Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including for First Nations entrepreneurs.
Supporting Inuit Priorities
Through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Government of Canada have worked together to advance important priorities for Inuit such as eliminating tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat, creating a permanent Inuit Health Survey and addressing overcrowded housing. Through Budget 2019, the Government is providing $286.2 million over five years to expand the reach of successful activities and take action in new areas, including:
- $125.5 million over 10 years for an Inuit-led post-secondary education strategy.
- $50 million over 10 years to continue the important work of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy.
- $220 million over five years to provide important health and social services to Inuit children.
- Support for a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous language revitalization projects with $333.7 million over five years, and $115.7 million ongoing to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages, including Inuktitut and Inuvialuktun.
- Up to $100 million to establish an Indigenous Growth Fund to further encourage investments in Indigenous-led businesses by Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including for Inuit entrepreneurs.
Supporting Métis Nation Priorities
In 2017, the Government of Canada and the Métis Nation signed the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. In this agreement, both parties agreed to work together on advancing joint policy objectives and making real progress to improve socio-economic outcomes for Métis Peoples. Building on the significant investments already made to support Métis Nation priorities in the areas of housing, skills and training, early learning and child care, and governance capacity, Budget 2019 continues this progress on Métis Nation priorities, including
- $362 million over 10 years to support a Métis Nation-led post-secondary education strategy.
- $30 million to recognize the contribution of Métis veterans to the country’s Second World War efforts and to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of all Métis veterans.
- Support for a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous language revitalization projects with $333.7 million over five years, and $115.7 million ongoing to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages, including Michif, the traditional language spoken by Métis Peoples.
- $50 million over five years to enhance the funding of the Métis Capital Corporations to support the start-up and expansion of Métis small and medium-sized enterprises, and up to $100 million to establish an Indigenous Growth Fund to further encourage investments in Indigenous-led businesses by Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including Métis Capital Corporations.
Advancing Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples (167kb)
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