AFN welcomes “continued, sustained” investment in First Nations in this year’s federal budget
- EFN Staff | February 28, 2018
Indigenous funding will be boosted, according to the 2018 Federal Budget, which was released on February 27th. The federal government is funding $4.7 billion to Indigenous peoples and communities over the next five years.
“Budget 2018 sets out important and overdue investments that will help protect First Nations children and keep them with their families and in healthy homes,” said Chief Bellegarde. “The investments in our children set a solid foundation for our future, and the long-term investments in First Nations governments and infrastructure sets a strong foundation for re-building our nations. This is continual movement in the right direction. Investing in First Nations is an investment in the shared future of Canada.”
According to the federal budget, the government is taking steps towards implementing reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples by investing in clean drinking water on-reserves, Indigenous children welfare, on-reserve housing, Indigenous Peoples receiving the economic skills training, Indigenous leaders having a permanent forum for joint priority-setting with the Government of Canada, strong Indigenous institutions that play a leading role in the delivery of public services to Indigenous Peoples and sustainable and sufficient health resources available in each community.
The budget sets out $411 Million this year to help address the shortfall in funding for First Nations child welfare. This initial shortfall led to the 2007 human rights complaint against Canada by the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the 2016 decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
“This is a good day and an important day for First Nations children and a good day for our families,” said Chief Bellegarde. “We know the needs are great and that’s why we pressed for, and will continue to press for sustained, strategic investments. The ongoing investments that support the movement toward First Nations self-determination and self-government is the right way forward.”
The AFN leader said First Nations successfully advocated for $11.8 Billion over 6 years in the past two federal budgets. The AFN participated in the pre-budget submission process, detailing areas that require investments.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is happy to see Indigenous women as a focus in this year’s federal budget. The $2 billion over five years for skills and job training will provide the knowledge and tools for the innovative ideas of Indigenous women across the country.
“NWAC has seen first hand the success of Indigenous women when given the training and knowledge to flourish with their entrepreneurial ideas,” said NWAC President Francyne Joe in a NWAC news release. “The very successful NWAC initiative, Aboriginal Women in Business Entrepreneurial Network (AWBEN) is one such example of enhancing skills with knowledge and training.”